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The references to the Prayer-book will, it is hoped, be par ticularly acceptable, being well calculated to familiarize the minds of youth with the doctrines and spirit of the church in which they are educated, and to point out their accordance with Scripture; as well as to furnish them with proper expressions for their private devotions.
In one respect the present work will be observed to differ materially om most other publications of the kind. Though the questions are such as may properly be proposed to children, the answers are not always those which they might be expected to return. This is occasioned by its being designed not merely to exercise the memories of young persons, but to supply their instructers with the means of examining them as to the extent of their knowledge. It is recommended to those teachers who put the book into the hands of their scholars, to mark the portions to be committed to memory, which will of course vary with the age and proficiency of the pupil.*
The work has little claim to ori lity; but it possesses per. haps a better recommendation, in containing the substance of a number of valuable works on the various subjects it embraces; besides nearly 4000 Scripture references, to illustrate and enforce the doctrinės it teaches, and the duties on which it insists,
Leeds, 31st July, 1819.
* The following is from the preface to the second edition. The substance of the remaining part, relating to alterations, additions, &c., has been noticed in the preceding preface.
“It may not be deemed here impertinent to remark, that as an interest ing and familiar mode of instruction on the Sunday evening, this has been found peculiarly adapted to keep awake the attention of that part of a family, who, from their active employments through the week, are frequently too apt to become drowsy, during the reading of a sermon or an essay. Besides which, the opportunity afforded for enlargement on any particular text or circumstance of sacred history, will be many times found to admit the placing of Scripture truth and doctrine in its most forcible points of view.”
ON OUR STATE BY NATURE.
What is a Catechism?
A Form of Instruction, by way of question and answer. Catechisms were drawn up by the early Christians for the purpose of teaching young persons and others, the first principles of Christianity. The Church Catechism was compiled by the venerable Reformers of the Church of England, with the same design, and ought “ to be learned by every person before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop." 66 What is your Name ?” N. or M. Why are you asked this name?
To remind me of the engagements which were entered into on my behalf, when this name was given me; and which, from being given in Baptism, is called my Christian name. “Who gave you this Name?”
“ My Sponsors in Baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven.” What occasion was there for your being made a member of
Christ? Because, I was 6 by nature born in sin;" so that I am naturally under the power of a corrupt nature, as a child of fallen Adam.
What was the state of Adam before the fall ?
He was created in the image of God. God created man in his own image. Gen. i. 27. In the likeness of God made he him. Gen. v. 1. For in the image of God made he man. Gen. ix. 6. Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. 1 Cor. xi. 7. Men, which are made after the similitude of God. James iii. 9. Wherein did this likeness consist?
1. In his having a living soul. Gen. ii. 7.
This is the reason of the law against murder, in Gen. ix. 6.
2. In his being holy. God hath made man upright. Eccles. vii. 29.
3. In his being happy, which is the consequence of holiness.
His will, understanding, and affections were pure; and his faculties were exercised on proper objects.
4. In his power over the rest of the creation.
and hast put all things under his feet. Ps. viii. 6-8. What change passed on Adam by the fall ?
He lost his likeness to God, his holiness, his happiness, and, in a great measure, his dominion over the creatures. How did our first parents bring this misery on themselves ?
By disobeying the command of God.
and to be desired to make one wise, she took, and did eat, and gave to her husband, and he did 'eat. Gen. iii. 6. Adam's will was left free to choose either good or evil. What did this sin include ?
1. Unbelief. Gen. iii. 1-6. They believed the devil.
2. Pride. Not content to be taught the knowledge of good and evil by their Maker; they wished to be as gods, and to know good and evil for themselves. Gen. iii. 5.
3. Ingratitude. Gen. ii. 16. All the garden was allowed but one tree.
4. Cruelty to himself and his posterity; since the happiness of the whole human race depended upon him. What were the consequences to Adam ? Cursed is the ground for thy sake. Gen. iii. 17, 18.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Gen. iii. 19.
Yes. Adam was the covenant head of the human race. llad he retained his original state, we should have been partakers of his holiness and happiness; and as he corrupted our nature, we are born in sin, and exposed to the misery which sin has occasioned.
Every plant and animal possesses the properties of that from which it is derived. Sift wheat ever so clean, still there will be chaff in the new grain. God called their name Adam. Gen. v. 2. Adam begat a son in his own likeness. Gen. v. 3. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job xiv. 4. What is man, that he should be clean ! &c. Job xv. 14. How can he be clean that is born of a woman ? Job xxv. 4. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. John iii. 6. By one man sin entered into the world. Rom. v. 12. Death reigned from Adam to Moses. Rom. v. 14. By the offence of one, judgment came upon all. Rom, v. 18. By one man's disobedience many were made sinners. Rom
v. 19. By one man came death. 1 Cor. xv. 21. In Adam all die. 1 Cor. xv. 22.
The Scriptures always describe man as a sinner; and all the types and ceremonies under the law of Moses refer to him as such. God saw that the wickedness of man was great. Gen. vi. 5. The earth was corrupt, and filled with violence. Gen. vi, 11. All fesh had corrupted his way. Gen. vi. 12. The Lord looked down from heaven, to see if there was any
that did seek God-There is none that doeth good. Ps. xiv.
2, 3; liii. 2, 3. Behold I was shapen in inquity. Ps. li. 5. The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as
soon as they be born; speaking lies. Ps. lviii. 3.
God. John iii. 3.
and come short of the glory of God. Rom. iii. 23. In me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. Rom. vii. 18. The carnal mind is enmity against God. Rom, viii. 7. The Scripture hath concluded all under sin. Gal. iii. 22. Who were dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. ii. 1. Having the understanding darkened. Eph. iv. 18.
You, being dead in your sins, hath he quickened. Col. ii. 13. To them that are defiled and unbelieving_even their mind and
conscience is defiled. Titus i. 15. The infection of sin is not only universal but deep. The hearts of all men are fashioned alike, and contain within them the seeds of the most revolting wickedness. However much we may be shocked with the crimes which we see others commit, we should assuredly be guilty of equal enormities, if we were not prevented by the restraint which God puts on us. When Hazael, the prime minister of Benhadad, king of Syria, was told by the prophet Elisha of the dreadful cruelties which he was on the point of perpetrating, he exclaimed with horror, “But what, is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing ?" 2 Kings viii. 13. He nevertheless did all the evil which was thus foretold. We are not our own keepers. We should beware of resolving in our own strength, “I will not do this or that;" lest God punish our pride by suffering us to fall into the sins we dread. Our prayer on such occasions should be, “Lord ! deliver us from evil.” What are the consequences of being born in sin?
We are the children of wrath, and are therefore by nature exposed to misery here and hereafter.
In this life, we have to endure sorrow, sickness, and labour, and have the wrath of God abiding on us. John jii. 36. In sorrow shalt thou eat of it. Gen. iii. 17. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Gen. ii. 19. I will appoint over you consumption, &c. Lev. xxvi. 16. Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, great plagues,
and sore sickness :- also every sickness, and every plague.
Deut. xxvii. 59. 61. Hereafter, we are in danger of eternal torments. The wicked shall be turned into hell. Ps. ix. 17. The soul that sinneth it shall die. Ezek. xviii. 4. 20. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matt. viii. 12;
xxii. 13; xxiv. 51; xxv. 30. Luke xiii. 28. Their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. Mark ix.
44. 48. Isa. lxvi. 24. He that believeth not, the wrath of God abideth on him. John
iii. 18. 36. The wrath of God is revealed—against all ungodliness and un
righteousness of men. Rom. i. 18. Treasurest up unto thyself wrath, against the day of wrath, &c.
Rom. ii. 5.