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Catechizing Gods Ordinance: OR A SHORT TREATISE CONCERNING That

  • Ancient
  • Approved
  • Soul-edifying
  • Singularly neceſſary

Exerciſe of Ca­techizing.

DELIVERED In ſundry SERMONS at Bo­tolphs Aldgate, London.

By Zach. Crofton Miniſter of the Word.

Jeſus Chriſt in his childhood ſubmitted himſelf to this Ordinance of God, though he were repleniſhed with all divine wiſdome. Downam of Catech. p. 334.

Knowledge of the Word is as neceſſary an art for Chriſtians, as the art of husbandry is neceſſary for husbandmen. Greenh. p. 383.

Inviſa poſſumus cupere, incognita nequaquam. Aug.

Train up a childe in the way he ſhould go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Prov. 22.6.

Whom ſay ye that I am? ſome ſay Elias, ſome John the Baptiſt, ſome Jeremiah or one of the Prophets. Whom ſay ye that I am? Thou art Chriſt the Son of the living God. Mat. 16.13, 14, 15, 16.

London, Printed by E. Cotes for Tho. Parkhurſt, at the Three Crowns over againſt the great Conduit at the lower end of Cheapſide, 1656.

To his much honoured and truly endeared in the Lord, the Chriſtian Inhabitants within the Pariſh of Bo­tolphs without Aldgate, as well without as within the Liberty of the City of London.

Endeared in the Lord,

I Preſent to the view of you all, what hath been plainly preached to the ears of ſuch whoſe hearts God hath inclined to at­tend on my publick Miniſtry. It is the chief and plain heads of ſundry Sermons without all Pul­pit-repetitions, which would have ſwelled the volume too much; and without all flouriſhes of Fa­thers ſentences and citation of Authors, which might have made it nauſeous to the mindes of ſuch who judge things goodneſſe by their pl••nneſſe: the main ſcope and drift of it is to vindicate the dignity of a deſpiſed, and due au­thority of a denied Ordinance of God; to revive in the Church an anciently exerciſed; and too too long exil'd priviledge; to excite and quicken to that too too long neglected duty of Catechizing in all Chriſtian ſocieties. This work I confeſſe hath been done by ma­ny more able and eminent Mini­ſters of the Church, as holy Mr. Greenham, reverend Mr. Dow­nam, acute Mr. Forde, and the reverend Provincial Aſſembly of the Churches of God within the City and Province of London; many times I had it in my thoughts to have commended theſe to your reading, but fea­ring what in that caſe I ſhould de­ſire might paſſe in at one ear and out at another; and I being by ſome deſired, and by the Pro­vince enjoyned to preach on the nature of this duty; and having calculated the doctrine for your condition and capacity, thought it might moſt ſure with you to put my own digeſted conſiderations into your hands; the which can­not but be the more welcome to ſuch whoſe ears heard them, and whoſe hearts were touched in the publique delivery: the acceptance of them by ſuch is not to be doubted; and by all others it is deſired, that they may be ſo farre accepted as to be taken up, read without paſſion or prejudice; the Doctrine therein taught may be revolved in your deliberate thoughts; and prayer may be put up to the God of Wiſdome, to open your eyes unto the appre­henſion and acknowledgement of the truth: This acceptance is the rather deſired, for that

1. This little Tract is pre­ſented to you as a taſte of that pity, and teſtimony of that true affection I bear to you in the Lord, as your Miniſter: againſt which though I ſtrongly reſol­ved, yet providence hath ſo diſ­poſed, that after all the ſad changes, and Religion-ruining revolutions, to which the times have ſubjected you, you are com­mitted to my care and charge, and I hope I can unfeignedly ſay, you are now my Dearly beloved and much longed for in the Lord.

2. This Tract travels in this publick way to ſeek out them, who by reaſon of the ſpirit of deluſi­on and prophaneneſſe, withdraw their ears from hearing it when preached; I thought it a duty to preach to the eyes of them whoſe ears are ſhut to ſuch abſolute Re­ligion-preſerving ordinances, as this is of Catechizing. I hope you have more charity then to ſuffer a Pariſh Childe born a­mongſt you to paſs by your houſes without one nights, nay a few hours entertainment: and I de­ſire none may appear ſo cruel, as to ſpurn and kick it out of their houſes for the fathers ſake, and the rather for that the father is to be found ready to traverſe all inditements againſt himſelf or doctrine, if he may but en­joy a patient hearing; but in ſpe­cial take heed that none look aſquint at it, and carry doggedly towards it for propounding a du­ty, and pleading for a piece of piety, for therein they engage the God of wiſdome and holi­neſſe to plead his own cauſe. As for ſuch as ſhall be ready to flight it on a ſeeming ſcrupuloſity of con­ſcience concerning the novelty, or antiquity, or formality, &c. of the exerciſe for which it contends, I deſire they will with patience read it through, it may be the re­ſolve of their ſcruples may make them more eſteem it.

3. The duty herein preſſed, is that which concerns you all of what ever age or condition: Are you ignorant? Catechizing is the way to knowledge; and certainly, knowledge in rudiments of Re­ligion, is an abſolute duty incum­bent on every man, be he rich or poor, high or low, young or old. It is a very good obſervation the Provinciall Aſſembly have in their exhortation to the ſame duty, and I deſire you may well note it, it is this:

It is the rare priviledge of the Romiſh Synagogue to have ſuch a power over ignorance, as to command her to imploy her ſelf as a tender nurſe to their blind devotions; but the Church of Chriſt hath ever found her ſuch a froward piece, as that ſhe hath churliſhly handled all the genuine iſſues of truth & piety; and as fondly cockered all the mis-ſhapen monſters of error, though never ſo ſtrangely com­poſed of an heterogeneous com­mixture of ſuperſtition and pro­phaneneſſe.And as they, I muſt needs ſay, we cannot nouriſh our ſelves with the leaſt hope as to ſee ignorance become ſerviceable to true piety: we know the affecti­ons cannot outgo the apprehenſi­on of truth, till ſhe be known, can­not be reverenced, cannot but be hated.

Are you knowing? yet Cate­chizing concerns you not only in that thereby you communicated knowledge to others (according to your duty) but alſo the Cate­chiſm is to you no leſſe uſefull then the compaſſe to the moſt skil­full Mariner, to ſteer your courſe with method and order in theſe boiſterous daies of confuſed noti­ons, as a touchſtone to the moſt diſcerning Goldſmith to try me­tals, and detect the moſt glitte­ring falſities that are ſpread before you with a Chriſt, Chriſt, as a rule to the moſt underſtanding Architect, by which you ſquare your actions in the ſpirituall edi­fice of your immortall ſouls.

Are you poor? Catechizing is a very cheap and eaſie way, in a few hours time, in two pence ex­pence to make you rich in faith.

Are you rich? Religion will make you civill, literature will be your honour, and none ſo much as Catechiſm, which will be the very glory of a Princes Crown.

Nay not only doth the duty preſſed, but the very preſſing of it concern you all; and that in order to the quickning of your lukewarm ſpirits, convincing your very conſciences of a duty to Ca­techize and be Catechized: Hath not the long neglect of this exer­ciſe to ſome, loſt the divine ſtamp of it, and armed young men (when called to Catechizing) with impu­dence to call its authority into queſtion? how many ſtick not to call it an humane invention? how many others account it good, but not neceſſary; allow it where it is uſed, but live without the diſcharge of it themſelves, as if it concerned not them? if ever it had need to be preſſed now with moſt power and plainneſſe, pregnant and per­ſwaſive arguments; the youth of this age through want of Catechi­zing, are captivated with Here­ſies and Schiſm; and if the neg­lect be continued, the youth of the next will be capable of turning Pa­gan or Papiſt; but in the paſt ages of the Churches by this very means, as you have heard and may read, young children were prepa­red for Martyrdome in the defence of their Religion.

If any enquire and wonder that I preach and preſent to your rea­ding ſo low, plain, common, and ordinary Doctrines in this high flown, wiſe and knowing age: I deſire ſuch to know, I am not in­ſenſible that the age in which we live, is an age of comforts, and that the now great enquiry of our Saints is after joy, not duty; aſſu­rance, not aſſent of faith; but truly I ſtudy not what may pleaſe you, but what may profit you; the practiſes of holineſſe in Word, Sacraments, and Sabbaths, are more for your profit then the pri­viledges of a Chriſtian: and whileſt your heads are lifted ſo high, that you tread and trample under your feet the principles and poſitive duties (pearls of no ſmall value) it is high time to ſet the luſtre of them before your eyes, and to make wantons know ſweet meats were not intended to work a contempt of common and or­dinary food: and again, you have been too long pleaſed and puffed up with high flown doctrines: nay and the ſpirituall riches under which you travell (I mean that heady diſorderly knowledge, ut­tered in free, but very confuſed diſcourſes) makes me very jea­lous they were not wholſome. Laſtly, I have cauſe to fear that generally you cannot yet bear higher Doctrine; if God will, I ſhall leave the firſt rudiments, and go on towards perfection, when I have firſt laid the foun­dation, you will do well to con­ſider ſome men (who deſire to make the bounds of Chriſt his Church narrower then the Lord hath ſet them) hath under the notions of gathering Churches, ſtirred you in many parts and private congregations, and un­churched (as much as in them lies) your whole bodies holding the place of a publick Miniſter, but neither owned nor diſcharged the duties thereof in your inſtru­ction, nor yet giving way for o­thers to do it: nay, nor yet have they inſtructed the poor ſouls ſe­duced into their ſocieties: great is the ignorance in foundation principles I finde, and greater I fear amongſt you; nor, when I conſider how it hath been with you, do I wonder; but only this I ſay, how ſhall they be capa­ble of the comforts that flow from the enjoyment of Chriſt, that are yet to be convinced that Chriſt is preſent to every beleever in the Sacrament, not on­ly by way of efficacy, but alſo of reall exiſtency, yet not corporall in a Popiſh ſenſe. But I will hold you no longer at the threſhold; the Doctrine I have preached to ſome, and printed for all, I tender it to you as a Miniſter of Jeſus Chriſt; nay, as your Mi­niſter ſet over you by the Lord, and watching for your ſouls, and deſirous to give up my ac­count of you with joy, and not with grief, as ſuch and I, this ſmall Tract ſo tendred, I beſeech you, nay I charge you in the Lord, receive both me and it. I am not ignorant that ſome amongſt you who are ready to deny the exiſtency of Goſpel Miniſtry, de­ſpiſe it as Antichriſtian; deter­mine the cry of holineſſe ſuf­ficient ordination, and the Mini­ſtry to lie ſo common, that any man may (though to them none muſt) be manifeſt; and are ſo farre from ſubjecting, that they ſet themſelves over others, bold­ly Catechizing the Catechizers, will be ready to diſclaim and deny any ſubjection or relati­on to me, and diſpute my au­thority as a Miniſter: But to ſuch I ſay the Fathers authority is better exerciſed then debated amongſt froward children. I have offered openly and do offer again to give to the ſober diſſatisfied ſoul (that will with patience and meekneſſe hear) full ſatisfaction, not only concerning this, but all other principles, of which this Scepticall age hath cauſed them to doubt: I may not now ſtand to anſwer further, but invite them home, and in the mean time ex­pect the duty preſſed to be em­braced, Catechizing to be reſto­red to your Families and Schools, your children and ſervants to be duly preſented when called to this duty in the Church: and fervent prayers for a bleſſing upon it and upon me, that God would enable me to doe the work which concernes your everla­ſting welfare; which is, and by Gods grace ſhall be ſin­cerely and fervently followed by

The meaneſt of the Lords Labourers for your Souls ſalvation, Zach. Crofton.

The Contents

IN this Treatiſe you have diſcuſſed this Doctrine:

  • Catechizing is Gods Ordinance, very uſe­full to his Church, pag. 11
  • The word Catechize explained, and the thing deſcribed, p. 1, 2, 3
  • The reaſons that enforce the Doctrine, and they are drawn from its
    • 1. Excellency in reſpect of its
      • Preſcriber, God, p. 15
      • Profeſſors, Saints, p. 17
      • Prime matter, p. 19
      • Proper end, p. 20
    • 2. Antiquity, p. 21
    • 3. Neceſſity, p. 28
    • 4. Ʋtility, in that it
      • 1. Preſerves Religion in purity, p. 31
      • 2. Propagates to poſterity, p. 35
      • 3. Prepares for increaſe of Knowledge in Chriſt, p. 36
      • 4. Profits by the Word, p. 37
      • 5. Prevents Apoſtaſie, p. 38
      • 6. Preſents fit Communicants to the Lords Supper, p. 41
      • 7. Powerfully diſpoſeth to duty, p. 45
    • 5. Eaſineſſe and familiarity, p. 46
  • The proper matter about which Catechizing is converſant, p. 47
  • The formes to be uſed and manner how it is to be managed, p. 57
  • Under which is noted thoſe that muſt Catechize;
    • 1. Miniſters in their Congregations, p. 60
    • 2. Schoolmaſters in their Schools, p. 65
    • 3. Maſters of Families in their Families, p. 70
  • All that are ignorant, and in ſpeciall youth, and why they muſt be Catechized, & how they muſt carry in ſubjecting to it, p 78
The Doctrine applyed.
  • 1. To inform of the neceſſity and dignity of Catechizing, p. 86
  • 2. Reproof of Superiors neglect, p. 93
    • Inferiors not ſubmiſſion, p. 110
  • To exhort to the duty, which exhortation is enforced with ſeverall motives, p. 125


Pag. 7. for them read then, p. 27. lin. 21. r. Canons of the Councels at, p. 32. l. 22. r. Cookes.


Edm. Calamy.

To the Reverend the Pro­vincial Aſſembly of the Churches of God within the City and Province of London.

Reverend Fathers and Brethren,

DEdications of Books, and inſcriptions of the names of men of worth and honour, are grown ſo common, that the plaineſt Truths and meaneſt Tracts diſcuſsing the ſame, cannot paſſe without them, and thereby a craved and enga­ged patronage: if this ſmall Tract of ſo plain a duty muſt ſeek any, for many conſiderable reaſons, it muſt ſeek you, and none but your ſelves, as its Patrons.

1. That the Author may hereby teſtifie to the world and your ſelvef his thankfull acknowledgement os Gods great mercy to his Church, not only for your being in theſe times of envie and indignation at all Church order and authority; but alſo for your vigilancy over, and induſtry for the good of the Churches of God, eminently ap­proved not only in your elaborate vindications of Government and Miniſtry, but alſo in your late grave, ſerious, and authoritative exhortation unto Catechizing; wherein by many pregnant and per­ſwaſive reaſons, you do provoke Miniſters as well as others to a du­ty, the long neglect of which, with its ſad effects, is to us in the ſight of God and his Church, matter of ſhame and ſorrow.

2. To you it is directed as authors of its reſurrection, though not firſt being, though at my firſt coming into your City (in the purſuit of the duty) I did ſome years ſince preach it to the people of whom I had the inſpection,At James Garlick­hithe. yet I had laid it by me as dead, and determined it ſhould never ſee the light, nor ſound in the ears of men any more; yet the ſound of your exhorting trumpet put again life into it, and cauſed it to be preached to a more publick audience for the benefit of a much greater people, to all whoſe ears the ſound not reaching, I was conſtrained to make it thus pub­lick, that by reading what they ſhould have heard, they might be convinced of, and counſelled unto duty; and now it is cheerfully ſub­mitted to your cenſure, at whoſe command it was preached, though not the firſt yet the ſecond time.

To you it comes in obedience to your command and conformity to your order, which requires an ac­count to be given from the ſeveral Claſſes of what proceeding is made in the work of Catechizing, to which you exhort; let this ſmall Tract aſſure you of the chear­full ſubmiſſion of the meaneſt of your brethren to your exhortation, and full reſolution to revive that ordinance of Catechizing, ſo ne­ceſſary, uſefull, and advantagious to the Church of God; prefeſsing that the greateſt comfort that ever my ſoul enjoyed in all my mini­ſteriall endevours amongſt the people with whom I lately la­boured,James Garlick­hithe. was in the inſtruction and (ſo far as I and others of their Chri­stian acquaintance can judge) ſan­ctificationf ſome young men and young women, that did with con­ſtancy and diligence, againſt all diſcouragements ſubmit unto and ſtudy their Catechiſm.

Laſtly, To your patronage it is commended, for that your exhorta­tion to the duty preſſed in it, and purſued by it; gives the Author full aſſurance of your readineſſe to patronize it, and by your power to protect it againſt the common car­pers and cavillers at every truth and duty, with which our age a­bounds, and with the clemency that becomes your aſſembly, indulge the infirmities of its author in the weak management of ſo weighty a matter.

Having given you the reaſons of my boldneſſe in this Dedicati­on, I muſt crave leave to apolo­gize in one thing, my not comply­ing with your exhorting directi­ons for carrying on the work of Catechizing: that is in reſpect of the Form to be uſed, I doe not indeed uſe, nor have I put into the hands of my people the Catechiſms of the late reverend Aſſembly, not that I do diſown, or in any thing diſlike thoſe Forms, I ſully aſſent to the Characters by you gi­ven of them, and by which you commend them; but the form I have choſen and put into the hands of my people, is that of reverend Mr. Ball, the goodneſſe, nay ac­ceptableneſſe of which, among peo­ple is proclaimed by the very ma­ny reiterated impreſsions of it; neither doth it differ in doctrine any thing, and in form not much from the Aſſemblies. The impulſive cauſe of my uſing this form was this, In the countrey where I lived this was the Catechiſm uſed in common, in the uſe of this I had by the bleſsing of God been con­ſtant: ſome that had learned this under my Miniſtry in the Countrey made mention of it amongſt the people with whom I then laboured, in ſo much that they generally de­ſired this Catechiſm, and would admit no other: I condeſcending to their deſire in a three years uſe of it, not only did the fame of it come to the ears, but many Cate­chiſms into the hands of this peo­ple before your exhortation came abroad; ſo that I could not conve­niently alter the form: herein I muſt beg, and cannot but hope, that none of my brethren will be offen­ded or cenſure me as guilty of ſin­gularity, and the rather for that you cannot but all conclude by this Catechiſm,Exhort. to Catech. youth may be taught who made them, why he made them, how good and happy man was made by God, how evill and wretched he made himſelf, what need he had that the Lord Jeſus ſhould die for him, that the holy Ghoſt ſhould regenerate him: what priviledges he doth enjoy and may expect by Chriſt, what duties he is obliged to by thoſe priviledges, how he is to pre­ſent his petitions to God, how to receive the ſeals of Gods gra­cious covenant; which being gran­ted, I muſt expect your promiſe not too moroſely to ſtand on circum­ſtantial differences, where there is ſo fair an accord in material prin­ciples.

Reverend Fathers and Bre­thren, now that you have ſo ſeri­ouſly and ſeaſonably called unto Ca­techizing, I could heartily wiſh, that confirmation of children, which I cannot but look on as an engage­ment to the ſtudy of the Catechiſm, were taken into your ſerious and ſe­cond thoughts, and if found (as it hath been deemed) an Ordinance of God, ſome means were propounded for the reviving it in the Church: but herein I may ſeem too bold, and be thought to preſcribe matter to your conſiderate debates: I ſhall therefore forbear any further to trouble you: but aſſure you that God will counſell you in things which concern his Church: make men in place and power a bleſsing to his Church: give to brethren a ſpirit of union with and con­deſcanſion to your juſt and pi­ous reſolves, and to our peo­ple of ready and cheerfull ſub­miſsion to your exhortations and commands, and that not only be­cauſe you exhort and command du­ties, but alſo with the authority of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, is and ſhall be the hearty and conſtant prayer of

Reverend Sirs,
The meaneſt of your brethren and ſervants in the work of the Goſpel, Zach. Crofton.

CATECHIZING Gods Ordinance: OR, A ſhort Treatiſe concerning that ancient, approved and edify­ing exerciſe of Catechizing.

HEB. 5.12. & 6.1.

When as for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that we teach you what are the princi­ples of the Word of God.

Leaving therefore the Doctrine of the beginning of Chriſt, let us be led forward to perfection.

THE Author of this Epiſtle, (whether Paul, as is moſt probable, or any other, we ſhall not now diſpute) be­ing ſingularly ſtudious of the confir­mation2 of the Hebrews, in the Doctrine of Jeſus Chriſt they had received: in oppoſition to the dan­gerous ſeducing doctrine of ſuch as endevoured the drawing them back to the Leviticall prieſthood, and law of ceremonies; doth at large dictate, and make known, the dig­nity, certainty, and perſpicuity of the Lord his prieſthood: (the con­ſideration of which, with the ſeve­rall priviledges thereof, is the du­ty of every Chriſtian ſoul well ini­tiated, in the firſt and chief prin­ciples of Religion) doth purſue their edification and eſtabliſhment herein, by two things amongſt o­thers, to be ſpecially taken notice of in the text, as the parts there­of.

Firſt is abbHebrae­rum ani­mos pulſat placida re­prehenſio­ne ſtuporis eorum. Pa­reus in Loc. Redargution or ſharp check for their unprofitableneſs under the Word, and Doctrine of Chriſt: of which they are convicted, by their haeſitation in the firſt principles of the Chriſtian doctrine, and reli­gion, without any progreſſe, nay al­moſt any knowledge of them, as in chap. 5.12.


Secondly, a ſeriousbbObjurgationi tarditatis ſubjicit exhortationem ad fidci profectum. Par. c. 6. ver. 1. Exercitation, or rather a ſolid declara­tion of his intention, to lead them (not of,ccJubet autem omitti e­juſmodi rudimenta, non quod eorum obliviſci un­quam debeant fideles, ſed quia in illis minime eſt haerendum. Calv. in Heb. c. 6. ver. 1. but) from the begin­nings of the Doctrine of God, unto the fur­ther and fuller conſide­ration of higher mat­ters, that concerned Chriſt, their eſtabliſh­ment and perfection in him.

Again in the redargution, we may (for the further: underſtanding of the words) obſerve, firſt a duty im­plyed, as neceſſary and uſefull in the Church of God: and that is to be in­ſtructed and taught to know, what are the firſt rudiments of religion, ſo as to be able to teach others therein: for we muſt not learn and leave them (i. e. ) forget them, no, but we muſt not ſtick faſt there and go no further: he is an idle and unskilful architect, that is alway buſie in laying a founda­tion, and never rears up a building upon it:Pemble Preface. where duty is not to be neglected, can be no ground of re­proof, for the time ye ought to be teachers, &c.


Secondly, the Hebrews failing in and ſinful neglect of this duty, ſub­jecting them to a neceſſity of being continued in and under the ſame: ye have need, &c.

Again, from the exhortation or in­tention of the Author, we may take a ſerious view of his motion in the edification of the people of God; and we ſee,

Firſt, the terminum a quo, terme from which he moves, and it is expreſſed either

1. Generally, leaving the Doctrine of the beginning of Chriſt.

2. Or in the particular heads there­of: as repentance from dead works, faith in Chriſt, the Doctrine of Baptiſme, of laying on of hands, reſurrection from the dead, and eternal Judgement: which according to the judgement of all Expoſitors on the Text, were the Catechetical heads of the Apoſtles Catechiſm, as we ſhall note here­after.

Secondly, the terminum ad quem, the terme to which, was to be led for­ward towards perfection: where by the way we may obſerve the Apoſtles5 method of teaching the Doctrine of Chriſt ſutable to every Infant capaci­ty, that can only digeſt milk: as well as men of years, that did require ſtronger meat: nay that the word is to be diſpenſed, firſt in rudiments or Catechetical principles, as a foun­dation, on which muſt be built fir­mer Doctrines.

Having divided the words into their main and proper parts: before we come to conclude the doctrinal obſervation that ariſeth from them, it is expedient a little to explain them, and in the explication thereof, we ſhall finde there is not much difficul­ty, that which principally as to our purpoſe cals for conſideration is what the Apoſtle means by the〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: the elements of the beginning of the Word of God, which he expreſſeth in the 5. chap. 12. verſ. and cals in the 6. chap. 1. verſ. the Doctrine of the beginning of Chriſt: in the clearing of which to your judgements, we ſhall commend to your ſerious and ſecond thoughts three conſiderable things in the Text.


1. The firſt is the Epithite, where­by the Apoſtle doth denominate the ſame to us: for denominations de­monſtrate the quality of things.

2. The ſecond the Apoſtle his Method of teaching, touched on be­fore.

3. The third the Matter recited and expreſſed by the Apoſtle him­ſelf.

From all which we ſhall finde, that theſe elements are no other then the main and principal heads of Chri­ſtian Doctrine, Catechetically taught in the Church of God: and firſt of the firſt, and that is

The Epithite or denomination; the Apoſtle cals them, elements of the beginning of the Word of God: Now elements are nothing elſe but the firſt principles and ſtanding verities of any Art or Science compendiouſly expreſſed, that being true in them­ſelves, they may be rules from which the fuller doctrine doth flow by clear and undeniable inference, and by which it may be proved for the initiating and edification of ſuch as are ſtudious of that Art or Science:7 ſuch are the ABC to children, the parts of ſpeech to the learning of Grammar, the Predicables and Pre­dicaments in Logick, and the like: this deſcription of Elements in ge­neral we may finde ſuggeſted by the various Etymologies of the Latine word Elementum, which ſome ſo call quaſi alimentum, nouriſhment; becauſe others are begotten and brought forth by it; Some Elevamentum, an aiding or liſting up; becauſe other things take their beginning by their help, or that they are lifted up above, or before other principles, as more eſ­ſential and neceſſary: or Elicimen­tum, deduction or drawing out, becauſe other things are extracted or drawn out of them.

When we ſee them Elements in themſelves to be firſt verities and con­ſider them related to the Doctrine of God, the reſult cannot but reſolve the Apoſtle to ſpeak of Catechetical doctrine, eſpecially when we adde to it the ſecond thing propounded, which is,

2. The Apoſtle his Method in ſpeaking to them, which in the di­viſion8 of the Text we have before noted to be by way of check or blame for not being diligent in thoſe do­ctrines which had been moſt neceſ­ſary for their firſt ſetting forward in the profeſſion of Chriſt: which had been as milk for babes, ſutable for their weak capacities, and pre­pared them for the right and ready receiving of higher doctrines, that conduced to perfection: and then by proceeding from thoſe things which were to have been learned for the initiating them in the Doctrine of Chriſt, unto thoſe things that ſhould increaſe and build up their knowledge toward perfection, that ſo he might not alwaies reſt in the foundation, what can we imagine the Apoſtle to mean by foundation, and firſt doctrine from which he would thus in order go forward, but the Catechetical heads and ſtan­ding verities of the Goſpel?

Thirdly, if we obſerve the ſeveral heads recited and expreſſed by the au­thor himſelf in chap. 6. verſ. 1, 2. as the things they ought to have lear­ned, but had neglected, (being ſuch as9 theſe before named, repentance from dead works, faith in Chriſt, Doctrine of Baptiſms, laying on of hands, reſurrection from the dead, and eternal Judgement) we cannot but determine them to be Catechetical heads taught to the novices and young Chriſtians for the grounding of them in the Doctrine of Chriſt, the which we finde alſo reſolved by the learned in their Expoſitions on the Text, as Deodate on the place ſaith, Theſe are the heads of Chri­ſtian Doctrine or Catechiſm, which were taught little children and novices in a plain, lowly and rough manner: Aretius thinks, that from hence may be gather­ed what were the principles and chief heads of the Catechiſm of thoſe times. Beza affirms they were the chief heads of Chriſtianiſm, which they call Catechiſm, and were delivered in ſhort and few words to the ignorant. Pareus cals them the firſt rudiments of Chriſtian faith, were wont to be learned by and re­quired from Children and young Chriſtians. But Calvin determines (from the teſtimony of the Fathers) that they were certain heads which the Paſtour uſed to aske the Catechized: re­ſolving10 that the Author of the Epiſtle did look back to the form of Catechiſm then uſed in the Church: with whom Marlorat doth agree not only in judgement, but alſo in ex­preſſion.

Theſe things being ſeriouſly con­ſidered, cannot but convince every one ſtudious of the minde of the Ho­ly Ghoſt, of the neceſſity and divine authority of Catechizing, whileſt we ſee the words thus divided and ex­plained, to lay before the Hebrews, and in them all other Chriſtians thoſe two poſitive and undeniable du­ties.

1. The firſt is to be well Cathe­chized or inſtructed in the firſt and main grounds and principles of the Chriſtian Religion, that thereby as by a foundation layed, they may be made capable of higher Doctrines.

2. That being prepared by their Catechiſm, they muſt not haeſitate in (though not renounce or recede from) firſt elements, but diligently proceed to grow in the knowledge of the doctrines of a higher degree dictated to them: the firſt of theſe11 is that I deſire may be taken into conſideration: and therefore from the particular duty dictated by the Apoſtle to the Hebrews, I ſhall reſolve for our inſtruction this ge­neral Obſervation or point of Do­ctrine.

Catechizing or inſtruction in the prin­ciples of Religion is a Goſpel-exerciſe,Doctand of neceſſity to be uſed in the Churches of God.

In the proſecution of this truth, we ſhall endevour this Method, to which I ſhall deſire diligent atten­tion.

1. By way of illuſtration, we ſhall conſider the word and thing Ca­techize.

2. Propound the reaſons that may confirm and clear the truth to your judgements.

3. Further illuſtrate the point by conſidering the matter and man­ner of this exerciſe.

4. And laſtly make ſome uſe or application of the point.

Firſt of the firſt of theſe, and that is, to conſider the word, and thereby the thing Gatechize. Concerning which I12 muſt deſire you to obſerve that the word Catechize is no proper Engliſh word,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉of〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉as〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉of〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Viva voce inſtituo, or dicta repe­to. but derived of a Greek word which ſignifies to teach or inſtruct by a lively and audible voice, by the repeti­tion of words as by the reflexion of an eccho; and it is generally uſed for any kinde of inſtruction or information whatſoever, as in Act. 21.24. **〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.They are informed con­cerning thee. Gal. 6.6. Thoſe that are taught in the word, to him that teacheth. But more eſpecially and properly for inſtruction in the firſt rudimeuts of any doctrine: but moſt eſpecially and principally the Chriſtian Reli­gion, ſee Rom. 2.18. Catechized in the Law:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉im­but, docere incepit, paulatm aſſuefecit. ſo in Act. 8.15. Luk. 1.4. this word Catechize in the Greek, anſwereth unto Hanach in the Hebrew which ſignifies to inſtruct, to begin to teach, to accuſtome by a little; alluding unto Dyers, that by degrees do dip and give colours to their Stuffs; hence comes the Hebrew word Hanich, which ſignifies a novice, or one in learning the firſt rudiments; both which are frequently read in the Old Teſtament. From the ſignifi­cation13 of the word thus opened we may eaſily collect and conclude what is the thing, and we ſhall finde that

Catechizing is a plain, perſpicuous and familiar way of teaching the ignorant and weak capacities in the firſt rudiments and principles of the Chriſtian Religion, drawn from the Doctrines of the Prophets and Apoſtles.

This is that exerciſe whereby babes in Chriſt are fed with milk, and prepared for the receiving and digeſting of ſtronger meat: this is that that layeth the foundation of Chriſt in the ſoul, which muſt by higher Doctrine be built up unto perfection: and this then is the Or­dinance of God and Goſpel exer­ciſe to be uſed in the Churches of Chriſt.

Having briefly paſt the Conſide­ration of the word and thing, we come now to ſpeak to the ſecond thing propounded, and therein to lay before you the reaſons that may prove Catechizing to be a Goſpel exerciſe, and to be uſed in the Chur­ches of God; the which we ſhall re­ſolve into theſe heads, which be­ing14 cleared to our judgements cannot but convince of the truth of the point.

  • 1. The excellency of Catechizing.
  • 2. The antiquity of Catechizing.
  • 3. The neceſſity of Catechizing.
  • 4. The utility or profit of Catechizing.
  • 5. The facility or eaſines of Catechizing.

Reaſ. 1The firſt reaſon is from the excel­lency of Catechizing; for that which appears to be a duty excellent, will plead divine ſtamp and call for en­tertainment in the Churches and a­mongſt the people of God the ex­cellent upon earth, Pſal. 16.3.

Now (my brethren) we ſhall on ſe­rious obſervation finde Catechizing to be ſo far from a baſe, low, carnal and beggerly exerciſe, that it hath alwaies been in the Church of God, and been had in great eſteem and re­verence as very excellent, yea as ſuch an exerciſe which the greateſt Empe­rors, moſt honourable Senators, and chiefeſt of Martyrs for Gods truth thought ſutable to themſelves and worthy their ſubjection: nay to which alſo the wiſeſt Philoſophers and moſt15 reverend Fathers of the Churches: ſuch as Juſtin Martyr, as Auguſtine, Am­broſe, and others, cheerfully ſubmitted to when God opened their eyes and inclined their hearts to the embracing and profeſſion of Chriſtian Religion: Juſtinus Martyr inſerts the uſe of Ca­techizing as an excellency to the Chriſtians in his perſwaſive Apolo­gies exhibited to the Emperour and Senate of Rome: it cauſed admira­tion in the**Fox Acts and Mo­numents. French Doctors when but exerciſed by the children of Merindoll: Martin Luther thought it his glory to profeſſe himſelf diſcipu­lum Catechiſmi a learner of the Cate­chiſme. But the excellency of this du­ty will appear by laying before you,

  • 1. The preſcribers of Catechizing.
  • 2. The profeſſors of Catechizing.
  • 3. The proper matter of Catechizing.
  • 4. The peculiar end of Catechizing.

Firſt evidence of the excellency of Catechizing is from the preſcriber of it:11Evi­dence of the excel­lency of Catechi­zing. the Author of every work ad­deth much to the luſtre and excel­lency of the ſame: the excellency16 then of this exerciſe is exceeding great, whiles it owns no other au­thor then, excellency it ſelf, the wiſe all knowing, and all ſoveraign God, who taught it by his Spirit to his people in the daies of Adam, and of Abra­ham, and afterwards commanded it to his people the Jewes, in Exod. 12.26, 27. When your children aske. &c. you ſhall ſay, It is the Lords paſſeover. Pſal. 78.5, 6. He commanded our fathers that they ſhould teach their children. From theſe places, as alſo from Deut. 4.9. Teach them thy ſons,His dire­ction for Chriſtian life. lib. 3. p. 37. Mr. Downam in­ferreth Gods command for Catechi­zing. Moreover, in Deut. 6.7. we ſee God enjoyning this duty, whileſt he commands that they rehearſe or whet on the mindes of their chil­dren his Lawes: ſo likewiſe Deut. 11.19. the word which is uſed to rehearſe, comes from an Hebrew root Schanan, to whet or ſharpen by re­petition of ſtrokes, Theſe commands (Ainſworth tels us) the Rabbies do underſtand of Catechizing; who him­ſelf alſo tels us God preſeribes here a brief Catechiſm in the grounds of Religion. Beſides we finde Wiſdome17 expreſly to direct this exerciſe, in Prov. 22.6. Train up or inſtruct (it may be read Catechize) a childe in the daies of his youth: the Hebrew reads it, teach a childe at his mouth, that is, as nurſes feed Infants with the breſt or ſpoon at the mouth: ſo teach children by putting words in­to their mouths, which can be no other way then by Catechizing: ſo we ſhall alſo finde it preſcribed in the New Teſtament, to paſſe by the Text which doth clearly declare it to be a duty: we ſhall finde Chriſt directing, nay commanding Peter, and in him all Miniſters of the Go­ſpel to feed as well his lambs as his ſheep: which Mr. Downam notes to be an impoſing of this duty or exerciſe of Catechizing on Miniſters: and God by Paul directs fathers to bring up their children in the inſtruction and information of the Lord, Epheſ. 6.4. So that I may well conclude God himſelf to be the Author of Catechi­zing, and it therein to be exceeding excellent.

Secondly,22Evi­dence. As Catechizing is excel­lent in reſpect of God the preſcri­ber18 thereof: ſo alſo in reſpect of the profeſſors and practitioners thereof, whom we ſhall finde to have been the Lords boſome friends and en­deared people, the righteous who are the excellent on earth, ſuch as God hath highly prized and admitted in­to familiarity with himſelf, as Abra­ham, Joſhua, David, Jehoiada, which in the ſecond reaſon (ſhall God wil­ling) be more fully manifeſted, and it is more then probable that Jeſus Chriſt did countenance and com­mend as exceeding excellent this exer­ciſe by his ſubmiſſion to it at twelve years of age, (although full of wiſ­dome and underſtanding, able to rea­ſon with the Doctors) this Mr. Dow­nam collects from Luk. 2.46. where it is ſaid Chriſt ſate among the Do­ctors; he conceives amongſt the Ca­techumeni under the Doctors, which conjecture ſeems to be ſuggeſted by Calvin and Marlorat on the place, who declare their judgements to be, that Chriſt ſate under, or before the Do­ctors of the Law, not in their chair, for that the time of his preaching was not yet come.


Thirdly,33Evi­dence. the proper matter of Catechi­zing, proclaims the excellency there­of: in that it is the Doctrine of God, the ſum of the Goſpel, the chief heads and principles of the Chriſti­an Religion, inferred and clearly flowing from the writings of the Prophets and Apoſtles: this is that excellent and celeſtial matter with which the minde being enlightned takes up the whole affections and car­rieth on a man to the contempt of all excellencies under the ſun, yea even of life it ſelf for the enjoyment of it: this is the ſum of Wiſdome more precious then Rubies and moſt pre­cious Pearls, in the finding of which is life and the favour of the Lord. Now that this kinde of Doctrine is and ought to be properly and prin­cipally the matter of this exerciſe, as the Ordinance of God in his Church, I ſhall more fully clear to you in the third thing propounded to be ſpoken to (viz.) the matter and man­ner of Catechizing.

Fourthly and laſtly,44Evi­dence. the excellency of Catechizing appears by the pecu­liar end thereof, which is no other20 then the higheſt excellencies of Gods glory and the ſalvation of the ſoul, to which we may ſee this exerciſe to carry, by planting the knowledge and remembrance of God in youth­full, even infant mindes; by putting poſterity into a capacity of ſounding Gods praiſes for paſt favours; pow­erfully bending the ſoul into the good and righteous way from which it will not depart in old age, by preſerving truth in its purity, and the ſoul from apoſtaſie, and placing in the heart principles directive to all duties in all conditions and eſtates whatſoever: this end is not only commended to us in the divine con­ſtitution of this exerciſe, and as it is the Centre of all Scripture inſtru­ction: but we ſhall finde it expreſ­ly declared, that Timothy his know­ledge of the Scripture in and from his childhood (which with Dow­nam and Calvin we may conclude more then probably he had learned by in­ſtruction or Catechizing from his Mother and Grandmother) is able to make the man of God wiſe unto ſalvation, 2 Tim. the ex­cellency21 of Catechizing appearing to be thus great, I hope will expell all baſe thoughts concerning it, and perſwade your ſpirits that it is a Goſpel exerciſe to be uſed in the Churches of God. We therefore paſſe from that to the conſideration of the ſecond reaſon of the doctrine.

Reaſ. 2The ſecond reaſon is the antiquity of this excellent exerciſe. For that which is moſt ancient is alwaies granted to be moſt true: the Chriſtian Religi­on is moſt ancient, and this as a ſpecial part thereof, will be found of equall antiquity; and when we ſhal conſider it to have ſtood in the Church as long as the Church hath ſtood on the earth: to have been of old eſteemed, obſerved and practiſed in the Church of the Jewes and Chriſtians, it muſt needs be the more authentick, and lay the greater obligation upon us for the continuance of the ſame; and in enquiry after the age of it we muſt needs reſolve it elder then Methuſelah, whileſt we may trace the foot-ſteps of it from Adam to this preſent age: this duty was be­fore the floud practiſed by Adam (as the learned do conclude) whoſe ſons22 we finde offering ſacrifice to the Lord, in Gen. 4. unto which their father had inſtructed and brought them up, as well as to labour in the world, catechizing them in the Do­ctrine of the Fall, and of the Seed of the woman, typified by their ſacri­fice, whereby they were fitted for the right and reverent performance of the worſhip of God. Alſo it may be probably conjectured, that others of the Patriarchs did practiſe this duty; Henoch the ſeventh from Adam (of whom it is recorded, that he wal­ked with God, Gen. 5.14. ) received his name Henoch from an Hebrew root Hanach (before noted to ſigni­fie, to initiate or inſtruct in the principles of Religion) as one dedi­cated unto God, or inſtructed from his youth: after the floud they had this exerciſe of Catechizing in the principles of Religion, which was after put in writing,Greenh. as the learned conclude, and called the oracles of Sibylla, which were nothing elſe but things taught and delivered by word of mouth. It is moſt clear, that A­braham did uſe this exerciſe with23 much fruit and good in his family, we read in Gen. 14.14. that Abra­ham brought out and armed three hundred and eighteen men brought up (the Hebrew word Hanichim will bear it) catechized or inſtructed in his houſe when he went to the re­ſcue of his brother Lot: Mr. Green­ham obſerveth,Greenhams Treat. of Cate. p. 312. Iſaac his going out to pray: and the ſervant his pious and faithfull proſecution of his Maſters oath, in Gen. 24. to be the effect of Abraham, his Catechizing: and Mr. Downam doth very well obſerve A­brahams care and diligence in Catechi­zing, to be the ground of Gods revea­ling his ſecrets, and making known his Judgements to him, in Gen. 18.19. I know him that he will command his ſons and his houſhold,Downam's Directi­ons. that they ſhall keep my waies. From this reaſon Doctor Willet obſerveth,Willet in Locum. that it was the godly pra­ctiſe of the Fathers to Catechize or inſtruct their families in the Doctrine of the creation of the world, tranſ­greſſion of man, deſtruction of the old world, Gods providence, the Meſſiah to be revealed, and everla­ſting life to come: with whom Pa­raeus24 doth concurre adding that before the Law,Paraeus in Locum. there was no publick Mi­niſtry, but the Fathers were Prieſts, Paſtors and Teachers, and the fami­ly were the Catechumeni, learning the Doctrines above recited: neither may we think this duty to have been neglected by Iſaac, Jacob, or Job, and others of the Patriarchs: the Hebrew Rabbies tell us,See alſo Pemble's Preface. that Samuel was brought unto Eli, that he might fit before Eli the Prieſt, and be by him accuſtomed to, or taught in the Law, or the Precepts as the Catechumeni were wont to be taught. David and Bathſheba were very diligent in the Catechizing or inſtruction of Solomon their ſon, in the waies of wiſdome, as himſelf declares in Prov. 4.4. He taught me and ſaid unto me, Let thine heart hold faſt my words: from whence Lavater inſerreth the duty of,Lavater in Loc. and in­duceth by the example, all Chriſti­an parents betimes to inſtruct their children in the chief heads of Chri­ſtian Religion: alſo Jehoiadah the Prieſt had well taught and inſtructed the young King Joaſh: whereby he was enabled to rule, and did rule25 well all the daies of Jehoiadah; nei­ther may we think this duty was neg­lected by Joſiah that good King, who in the time of his youth, ſet himſelf to ſerve the Lord with zeal and ſin­cerity: and alſo after the captivity, if we beleeve the Hebrew Rabbies, from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes unto Chriſt, there were never under four hundred houſes of Catechizing in Jeruſalem, at which time alſo they made their Decree, that at thirteen years of age their children ſhould be put to Catechizing: to which pra­ctiſe S. Paul ſeems to allude, when he ſpeaks of the Jewes, as Catechi­zed in the Law, Rom. 2.18. And as we find the footſteps of Catechizing in all the ages of the Jewiſh Church, ſo we ſhall find it ceaſed not in them, but was alſo practiſed in all the ages of the Chriſtian Churches ſince the time of Chriſt; for beſides what was before noted of Chriſt his ſub­miſſion to it at twelve years of age, amongſt the Jewes he ſeems practi­cally to commend it to us by Cate­chizing his Diſciples concerning their perſwaſion of himſelf in oppo­ſition26 to the ignorant conceits of the men of the world, in Mat. 16. chap. 13.16. verſ. Whom ſay men that I am? Whom ſay ye that I am? after Chriſts aſcenſion, this exerciſe was very perſpicuous:Greenham's Treat. of Catechi­zing, p. 664. Mr. Greenham brings in Aegiſippus report, that by reaſon of Catechizing, there was never a Nati­on in the world, but received an alte­ration in their Heatheniſh Religion within forty years after Chriſt: in the Apoſtles daies and primitive times of the Church of God, there were two ſorts Catechized, the one adulti, Infidels converted to the faith, ſuch was Theophilus, who is in Luk. 1.4. ſaid to have been Catechized: ſo alſo Apollos, Act. 18.25. the Eunuch and Cornelius his houſhold: ſuch was Raib Auguſtine, Ambroſe, and divers others; ſome of which were called to Martyrdome, when in their Cate­chiſm: all which were inſtructed in the Catechetical heads of the text, and then baptized.

A ſecond ſort were Children, ſuch as were born under the covenant of believing Parents who were bap­tized and afterward Catechized and27 made able to profeſſe their faith when they were confirmed by the laying on of hands.

We read of many that bare the office of Catechizing in the Church of God: ſome think Paul to have been employed in it by reaſon of that expreſſion, 1 Cor. 14.59. that I may Catechize others. Euſebius men­tioneth Mark to have been Catechi­zer at Alexandria, as alſo Clemens, Origen, and Heraclas, and others of the Fathers in other places, Gregorie Nyſſen, Cyrill, &c. The Church had the Books of Auguſtine, De rudibus Catechizandis, and Books de Symbolo ad Catechumenos: alſo Athonaſius his Synopſis of ſacred Scaipture, with others of the like nature. In after ages this exerciſe was owned and enjoyned by the Canons of Neoce­ſaria, Iberis, Braccaria and others be­fore Luther's time; who alſo in his time among other things contended for Catechizing with a ſpirit of zeal, making it of abſolute neceſſity in the Church as Lord and Ruler; urging the continuance of it with­out intermiſſion, condemning the28 neglect thereof after whom the ſeve­ral reformed Churches enjoyned it, and exhibited the neceſſity of it in their ſeveral confeſſions, compoſing Catechiſms ſutable to the degrees of reformation enjoyned and obtained. This exerciſe of Catechizing appea­ring to have been thus anciently ob­ſerved as well in the Jewiſh as Chri­ſtian Churches, I hope will ſilence all thoughts of the novelty thereof, and lead us to the conſideration of the third reaſon, which is the neceſſi­ty of ſo ancient a duty.

Reaſ. 3Thirdly, Catechizing muſt be uſed in the Church of God, becauſe it is exceeding neceſſary: which neceſ­ſity upon ſerious & ſecond thoughts, will appear to be great unto all ſuch as deſire to be found good profici­ents in the School of Chriſt, even as neceſſary as ABC to a childe firſt going to School; as the rudiments of any Arts or Science a man deſi­eth to know and profeſſe; as a foun­dation to building, without which it cannot ſtand; as milk for babes new born; and therefore it is in Scripture held out in ſuch termes,29 and ſimilitudes (viz.) Principles, Ele­ments, Foundation, Milk, &c. All which the Apoſtle uſeth in the Text, teaching us that this neglected, the ſoul cannot be eſtabliſhed in the Do­ctrine of Chriſt, but be alwaies unſta­ble and as children ready to be toſ­ſed to and fro with every winde of doctrine, cannot be prepared for, and made capable of higher learning, to read readily the Doctrine of the Lords Prieſthood, and their priviledges thereby, and thoſe things that ſhould tend to the perfecting of their faith, and compleating of their comforts; this was the great cauſe of our Au­thors ſharp reproof of the Hebrewes in the Text; for when he came to communicate to, and teach them higher leſſons in the Schoole of Chriſt, they were not yet perfect in the firſt form of the principles of Religion: nay they cannot grow forward in the graces of Gods Spirit, but like children without milk be lank and lean, alwaies ready to exſpire that principle of life that is in them: nay, laſtly, they cannot unchatechi­zed, act and move orderly and methodi­cally30 in the practiſe of their Chriſtian duties, but be very incident to con­fuſion and diſorder: for without all doubt, one great cauſe of all that confuſion that is in mens mindes, and actions in theſe daies, is the want of Catechizing; whereby they might be enabled to digeſt thoſe general no­tions that flie in their brains into certain ſolid heads, and principles, which might be ſtanding rules for their direction. It being then an ex­erciſe ſo very neceſſary; I hope none can or will deny it to be a uſefull duty in the Church; eſpecially if we conſider the next Reaſon, which is the profit and comfort of this ex­erciſe.

Reaſ. 4Fourthly, Then we ſhall finde Catechizing, as not to be needleſſe, ſo to be very profitable and comfortable to the Church of God in general, and the ſubjects of it in particular: for by ſeri­ous enquiry, and ſenſible obſervati­on, we ſhall finde it no barren plant in the Lords garden; nor yet fruit­leſſe ordinance to be rejected; but that which rightly uſed, and skil­fully, improved, doth produce to31 the comfort of all Gods children, theſe ſeveral advantages.

Advanta­ges of Ca­techizing.
  • 1. The preſervation of the purity of Religion.
  • 2. The propagation of it to po­ſterity.
  • 3. Preparedneſſe to increaſes in the knowledge of Chriſt.
  • 4. Profit by the Word.
  • 5. Prevention of falling into error.
  • 6. Preſent capacity of communion at the Lords Table.
  • 7. Powerfull diſpoſition to du­tie.

Advantage. 1Firſt, then it preſerveth the good eſtate of the Church, in the maintenance of purity of Religion: for a Catechiſm rightly framed and grounded on the Scripture, is a brief abſtract and compendium of the Law and the Teſti­mony, whereby all corruptions of doctrine or practiſe is eaſily and ſud­denly diſcerned and detected: and by diligence in this exerciſe, truth is made like the Goldſmiths touch­ſtone, ready to receive with appro­bation all golden doctrine thereunto conſonant: but to make men fear to32 tender, (or if any dare preſume) readily to reject all baſe metals of falſe doctrines, or practical innova­tions that are thereunto diſſonant, and yet may be ſometimes impoſed on the Church; for this ſum of Scri­pture (as it may be called) or to uſe Luthers word, Bible of the people, or ſum of Chriſtian Religion, doth with more perſpicuity and celerity con­clude the truth, and with more fa­cility and ſpeed pull off the vizard of a Sic dixit Dominus, thus ſaith the Lord, from the face of all falſe Pro­phets and Seducers: then the rea­ding, comparing, and conſidering of the whole body of the Scripture, and reſolving the ſame into Cate­chiſtical principles: which muſt be the way to oppugn the untruths impoſed, even as Hippocrates Apho­riſms in caſes of Phyſick: Cokes In­ſtitutes in caſes of Law; and the ſhort axiomes and ſtanding principles of Philoſophy doe more quickly and ſharply detect all contrary aſſer­tions, then the more large and ample Treatiſes and diſcuſſions of the ſame. Hence it may be more then probable,33 that the reaſon why the Lord Jeſus did no more particularly (by quo­ting books, chapters and verſes) prove the truth and purity of his Doctrine preached to the Jewes, was for that as the Apoſtle ſaith in Rom. 2.18. they knew his will and tryed thoſe things that did diſſent from it, being (as was noted before) catechized in the Law: we may afſo obſerve that Paul gave Timothy a Catechiſtical ſum of Chri­ſtian Doctrine, which in 2 Tim. 1.13. he cals a**〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in Rom. 6.12. it is called,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Analogie of Faith. form of ſound words: and chargeth him to keep faſt the ſame, as a preſer­vative of the purity of Religion, againſt the corruptions which our nature is too prone to re­ceive: hence alſo it was that the fathers of the primitive times did uſu­ally reſolve certain Ca­techiſtical**As the Nicene Creed, Epheſine, and of the ſeveral Councels againſt the Haereſies of Arri­us, Macedonius, and Eu­doxius, Neſtorius, and Eutyches. verities, into ſhort and ſtanding prin­ciples for the defending of the Church in the pure truth of Chriſt Godhead, & the like againſt the Arrian & other Hereſies: and moreover32〈1 page duplicate〉33〈1 page duplicate〉34we may obſerve the Devils ſtrongeſt engine, againſt the purity and pro­ſperity of Religion to have been the obſtruction of this exerciſe; when he ſtirred up Julian the Apo­ſtate, as his curſed inſtrument to make a more furious attempt, and prevailing aſſault then the ten firſt perſecutions on the Chriſtian Reli­gion; by taking away Chriſtian books, and putting down all Schools of Cateehizing: for the Devil and his inſtruments were, and are ſenſi­ble that Catechizing is the thing that impedes the riſing of his kingdome; for that by it the foundation of Chriſtian Doctrine doth not only remain firm, but alſo the meaneſt members of the Church are made in ſome meaſure capable of contending for the truth, and communicating the ſame to ſuch as by the enjoy­ment of other parts and abilities are likely to enter the liſts with truths oppoſers in its defence, though many eminent pillars, even faithfull Mini­ſters of the Goſpel be by their rage cut off: ſo that Martyrdome can­not maſter it, but rather propagate it;35 For ſanguis Martyrum becomes ſemen Eccleſiae by watering theſe Cateche­tical heads of Goſpell Doctrine; and therefore the Spaniſh Jeſuites were wont to ſay they had moſt hopes when there was leaſt Catechizing; nay the Pope himſelf with all his curſed crew, do acknowledge the ground we have gotten of them hath been by Catechizing: the Pope complains, that the greateſt hurt that the ſons of the Heretiques had ever done him, was by their pestilential writings adorned with the title of Catechiſms: and the ground which they have gotten again of the Churches of God, hath bren by their more ſtrict exacting of their Catechiſms and our neglect of ſo profitable a duty.

Adv. 22. The ſecond Advantage is the propagation of Religion to poſterity: which lies on every Chriſtian as his poſi­tive duty to advance and endevour, and therefore God commands the knowledge of his Works and Word to be made known to ſons, and ſons ſons, children, and childrens children, Deut. 4.9. It was this ſtanding Law of tranſmitting Religion to poſterity36 by Catechizing Children, that indu­ced the Pſalmiſt to propound, pub­liſh and provoke attention to the Catecheticall Doctrine of the Jewes, in Pſal. 78. And one great reaſon why God would make known his ſecrets unto Abraham, was that care God found in him by Catechizing to convey the knowledge of him, his works and judgements to poſterity. By this means ſucceeding generati­ons are enabled to accompliſh the un­dertaking of progenitors in the ſolemn com­memorations of the ſpecial mercies of God: Hereby the Jewes, as the Rabbies tell us, retain a reverent eſteem of their deliverance out of Aegypt, with all its concomitants and effects; nay by this the truth of Chriſtian Religion hath been continued above ſixteen hundred years, and notwithſtanding the rage and fury of perſecutors en­devouring the utter eradication and extinction of it, hath by Catechiſti­call ſeed been derived unto, and re­vived by ſucceeding generations.

Adv. 3Thirdly, it prepares to ripeneſſe in knowledge, being as the firſt draught of a picture, the baſe and ground­plot37 on which the building is ſet; the firſt rules of any art or ſcience, which well learned makes ready for perfection in the Art and Science, and therefore it is called, the begin­ning of the Doctrine of Chriſt: and it is to be obſerved on experience, that they that have attained to the moſt perfect meaſure of knowledge of the Doctrine of Chriſt, were by Cate­chizing well entred into the begin­nings of it.

Adv. 4Fourthly, it makes us profit by the Word, when read by, or preached to us, whileſt by Catechizing men are enabled to refer what they read to their proper heads of Divinity, and reſolve them into ſummary conclu­ſions, which are very much infor­ming to the judgement, and convin­cing to the conſcience, and clearly to diſcern truth from error, and diſtinguiſh between truth and truth, and ſee their dependance one on another differ the Law from the Go­ſpel with their different ends of hu­miliation and comfort: whereby their underſtanding acting clearly and orderly will help the memory38 to retain, quicken the affection, and make their growth ſenſible & diſcerni­ble, which being clouded by a confu­ſed knowledge, makes many times profiting Chriſtians to complain of barrenneſſe under the Word. The care of the Apoſtles, to feed firſt with milk of principles ſuch as they en­devoured to make and approve pro­fitable under the meat of higher Mi­niſterial Doctrines, doth clearly com­mend to us this benefit of Catechi­zing: beſides, the cauſe of the He­brewes incapacity of receiving and profiting by higher Doctrines, is ex­preſly declared to be the little pro­ficiency they had made in the princi­ples of Religion: and experimental obſervation doth witneſſe, that prea­ching doth little good where Cate­chizing is wanting; for we may well ſay with Bullinger,Bulling. Decad. 5. Ser. 4. fol. 907. How ſhall the peo­ple profit, when they underſtand not their Paſtour when he preacheth Law, Covenant, or Grace, &c.

Adv. 5Fifthly, It prevents their falling in­to fundamental errors, and following pernicious doctrine; whileſt by this means truth is founded and firmly39 fixed in their mindes and memories as a rule ready at hand to try all that is preached in the Name of the Lord; as a touchſtone, reſerved to detect all ſuch falſities as are gilded over with the name of Truth, when di­rectly contrary thereunto; as a root whoſe ſeveral branches being ſound­ly ſetled in the ſoul, makes them bear up the head, and ſtand to their Chriſtian ſtation, againſt the ſtormy tempeſt of all ſeducing doctrine: nay theſe are ſeeds of ſuch ſolid comforts, and earneſts of ſuch eternall joyes, as bears up the heart cheerfully to embrace, and readily to ſubmit un­to the moſt exquiſite and cruel tor­ments hell or earth can execute up­on them, rather then to deny the Faith, recede from the Truth, and make ſhipwrack of a good Conſci­ence: ſouls ſoundly Catechized, are noble Bereans, receiving and be­leeving the Word, becauſe confirmed by, and conſonant to Scripture; not becauſe ſpoken by Apoſtles: their judgements are ſwayed to the recei­ving of principles by ſound reaſon, not by by a ſeeming ſanctified life of40 the author or publiſher, knowing that falſe Apoſtles are deceitful workers,2 Cor. 11.13, 14, 15. and transform themſelves into the Apoſtles of Chriſt: and no marvel, for Satan is transformed into an Angel of light: it is no great thing then, if his Miniſters transform themſelves as though they were the Miniſters of righteouſneſſe, whoſe end will be according to their works: ſuch are Merindolian Martyrs, able to exhibit ſuch Scriptural confeſſionsof faith, as ſhall convince and confound ſuch doctors as are appointed to convince them of Hereſie, or (more proper­ly) to ſeduce them from the truth of Chriſt, (which they called Here­ſie) ſo as to confeſſe, that an eight daies ſtudy of ſuch a confeſſion, doth teach more Scripture then all the daies of their lives**As did the Doctor ap­pointed by the Biſhop of Caveillon to detect the Hereſies in the confeſſi­on by them exhibited. be­fore; whoſe children are hereby enabled to con­found learned Prelates, and aſtoniſh reverend Doctors; making Cate­chiſticall teaching, to**As the religious man of Paris did profeſſe hea­ring the Children of Merindoll Catechize one another. Fox his Acts and Monuments, p 866. tranſcend the divine Diſputations in the Schools of Sorborne in Paris: (nay41 in a word) by this means they are ſo confirmed and eſtabliſhed in the faith, that they will ſooner ſubmit themſelves, their wives and children, I and their whole town to the cruel rage of outragious enemies, then ſuf­fer themſelves to be moved away from the truth received and profeſ­ſed by them. This exerciſe of Cate­chizing hath been ſo effectuall, to the eſtabliſhing of ſouls in the truth, that many by it have been prepared to Martyrdome, and enabled with ad­mirable patience to endure bitter ſcourging, and cruel torments,Seven of Origens Scholars at one time. and burnings (even in their young and tender years) in defence of the truth: it is to the everlaſting honour of ſome of the Martyrs, Chronicled in Eccleſiaſtical ſtory, that they recei­ved the crown of Martyrdome, be­ing yet but Catechumeniſts, whereas the reaſon of others falling away from the faith in the time of per­ſecution, is noted to be, that they were not yet fully inſtructed in the Doctrine of Chriſt.

Adv. 6Sixthly, It puts into a preſent capa­city of communion at the Lords Table:42 it prepareth the heart unto the right and worthy receiving of the Sacra­ment of the Lords Supper, and there­by delivers the ſoul from the great danger of eating and drinking judgement to himſelf: whileſt that by Catechi­zing, they are fully informed and convinced of that faith and Do­ctrine openly profeſſed, and ſealed by the Lords Supper, and therefore neceſſary to be known, before the participation of this ordinance, whileſt hereby they are inveſted with that neceſſary qualification of know­ledge, concerning mans miſery by ſin, recovery by Chriſt; Gods Co­venant with man eſtabliſhed in the hands of a Mediator, the author, end, and inſtitution of this Ordi­nance; all which being Catetheti­call heads muſt needs encourage the deſirous communicants, readily to ſubmit themſelves to the trial of the Church, with their deſire of admiſſi­on to the Lords Table, with an aſ­ſured confidence that their commu­nion cannot be denied on the ac­count of ignorance, whileſt hereby43 they are enabled to the diſcharge of that neceſſary duty of ſelf-examina­tion required by the Apoſtle in the Name of the Lord:1 Cor. 11.28. in that by Ca­techizing they come to know all thoſe neceſſary qualifications requi­ſite to render the ſoul ſutable for communion with God at this Table, whileſt they are made capable of diſcerning the Lords Body; in a Chriſtian way to diſtinguiſh the outward ſign from the inward grace and thing ſignified; whileſt hereby (being delivered from Popiſh dark­neſſe) they are well taught that out­ward elements are ſet before their outward ſenſes to reſemble and re­preſent to the inward man the body and bloud of Jeſus Chriſt: nay in a word, whileſt hereby they have in readineſſe matter of contemplation (ſutable to ſuch an Ordinance) to the affectation of their hearts and excitation of their affections in their enjoyment, hereby they are in a good capacity of renewing their covenant with Go, of receiving the ſealing efficacy of that Ordinance to the ſoul,44 and with the Jewes to render an ac­compt to any that ſhall demand of them the ground and end of their ſo frequent celebration of their Chriſtian Paſſeover; whereas through the want of this exerciſe, men are in danger of ruſhing unworthily and unprepa­redly to the receiving of this Sacra­ment, to preſſe unreverently to take thoſe things they do not know or underſtand the ground, end, or mea­ning of; to taſte thoſe dainties that belong not to them, and take in hand thoſe duties they know not how to manage: in this regard the primitive times alwaies by their Cry of holy things for holy men ſent away among the common hearers and penitentiaries the Catechumeni, or ſuch as were learning their Cate­chiſm, as men not yet ſutable for this Sacrament. Hence alſo it is, that the Canons and conſtitutions of the Church of God in all ages, even in the moſt corrupt times require that every one be Catechized before they receive the Sacrament: and this is the cauſe why the Diſcipline of the45 Church in this age and time requires an accompt of the knowledge of eve­ry one deſirous of the Lords Supper, that if any be found ignorant by reaſon of the paſt neglect of this duty they may by diligent Catechizing be made fit for it, and ſo be admitted to it.

Adv. 7Seventhly, It puts on a man a power­ful diſpoſition of diſcharging his duty to­wards God and man: in that by Ca­techizing they are not only taught to know the ſeveral Commande­ments of the firſt and ſecond Table, but alſo are well inſtructed to di­ſtinguiſh duties appertaining to God from ſuch as belong to man, and to diſcern the ſeveral ſins forbidden, and duties therein commanded: Iſaac's prayer and meditation, his ſubmiſſion in all things to his father; and the ſervants prayer to the God of his Maſter Abraham, and faithfulneſſe concerning his Maſter's Oath, was before noted to be the fruit of Ca­techizing: and it is to be obſerved on experience, that ſuch are moſt apt to rebellion and diſobedience towards46 men, who are not Catechized in the Doctrine of God; and therefore Con­ſtantine when he would ſelect to him­ſelf ſuch of his Court Officers as he would confide in to be truſty Counſellors and defenders of his perſon and Kingdome, tryed which of them were beſt inſtructed in the faith and fear of God, declaring ſuch only were worthy to be about a Prince as ſervants, that being true to their God would be loyall to him.

Reaſ. 5The fifth and laſt reaſon why Ca­techizing ſhould be uſed in the Church of God, is the eaſineſſe there­of: which is very much, and ſo found upon experience, for it ſuiteth the Doctrine of Chriſt to the weakeſt capacity that is, and puts words in­to the mouth; ſo as that by dili­gence in this exerciſe, the ſoul that is moſt ignorant, knowing nothing of God, may be able in a ſhort time to give an account of his faith to any that ſhall aske it: becauſe of the facility of it. Children are in Scripture declared to be the ſubjects47 thereof, and it is called rudiments, in which children, not men of years, are wont to be inſtructed; milk, with which babes and not men of ſtrength are to be nouriſhed: and although at the firſt it may ſeem (as all other ordinances of God) ſomething diffi­cult, yet a willing and diligent minde will prove it very eaſie; for it being a piece of the Lords yoke, which is all of it eaſie to be borne, cannot but be pleaſant to the wil­ling ſpirit, although the fleſh may be found weak in ſubmiſſion to it.

Having thus briefly paſt the Rea­ſons of the point, which I hope up­on ſerious thoughts may clearly con­vince any of the divine ſtamp of this exerciſe, and ſo juſtifie the uſe of it in the Churches of God, we come in the next place by way of illuſtra­tion to the truth, to conſider what muſt be the matter and manner of this exerciſe of Catechizing. And,

Firſt then of the ſubject Matter to be taught by Catechizing, which muſt not be as the Papiſt (wickedly48 corrupting this exerciſe and Ordi­nance of God) do make to teach matters altogether unprofitable, nay vain, falſe and frivolous, as the tra­ditions of Fathers, the Canons of the Councel and conſtitutions of the Church inconſiſtent with the Do­ctrine of Scripture: nay in many things directly contrary thereunto: neither yet muſt it be nice and curi­ous points, though true yet fruit­leſſe and unprofitable, tending more to tickle the brain, and affect the ſenſe, then to take with the heart and inform the judgement: but the matter of Catechizing muſt be all and only the chief heads and ſtanding veri­ties of the Chriſtian Religion, ſummarily extracted out of the Scripture, and ſolidly grounded upon the ſame, that they may be propounded as in­fallible rules for the triall of the aſſertions, as ſtanding principles, whence may naturally flow all con­cluſions conducing to the profeſſion of Chriſt with ſtedfaſtneſſe and com­fort, and as a ſure foundation upon which the fabrick of grace and of49 the knowledge of Jeſus Chriſt may be erected and built up without all doubt of falling, nay with confi­dence of ſtanding againſt the tem­peſtuous aſſaults of all falſe do­ctrine and fiery perſecution: and therefore the Church of God hath in different ages propounded thoſe prin­cipall and ſpeciall verities, that in ſuch ages have been oppugned by gainſayers of the truth and the ene­mies of the Church, as Catechetical Doctrine to eſtabliſh the people of God in the Truths reſiſted. Thus did the Nicene Councell in the time of the Arrians Hereſie, and therefore the learned conſidering what ſhould be the heads of the Catechiſm, ſome have reſolved in generall the Law and the Goſpel: others the Deca­logue, or Ten Commandements and Creed (commonly called Symbolum Apoſtolicum, Apoſtles Creed) others the Doctrine of Gods Will and his Works: others the Ten Comman­dements, the Creed, the Doctrine of Baptiſm, and the Lords Sup­per, and Prayer: others the miſery50 of man by Sin, his recovery by Chriſt, and thankfulneſſe to God for ſo great mercy: but not to ſtand on the determination of the ſeveral particular heads, we may confound their ſeveral judgements, and finde them all center in the general before expreſſed, in which we may ſafely acquieſce, that the heads and prin­ciples of Chriſtian Religion muſt be the matter of Catechizing, which may more fully be proved by theſe Reaſons.

Reaſ. 11. It is preſcribed by God to his Church, in that by his Spirit he taught A­dam to inſtruct his ſons in the pro­miſe of the Meſſiah as the ground of Sacrifice: and to Abraham, the mat­ter of whoſe Catechiſm may be pro­bably conjectured to be the Covenant God made with him and with his ſeed: he expreſly commands the Doctrine of the Law and Paſſeover, to be the matter of the Catechiſms taught by the Jewes to their children, when in Exod. 12.26. When they celebrated the Paſſeover, God enjoyns them to ſhew their children, how God paſſed over them51 in the land of Egypt, and the Doctrine of the Law, and Gods dealing with the Iſraelites, Moſes in the Name of the Lord preſcribes as the matter of Ca­techiſm, in Deut. 6.7. and from this Catechetical matter it is, that Paul cals them Catechized in the Law, in Rom. 2.18.

Reaſ. 2The ſecond Reaſon, it was propoun­ded by Chriſt and his Apoſtles; for we ſhall finde the ſum or matter of their Catechizing, to be the main princi­ples of Chriſtian Religion; as in Chriſt his inſtruction of his Diſciples was in that main ſtanding princi­ple of Religion (ſo much oppugned by the world) that he was the Chriſt the Son of the living God: and the author of this Epiſtle gives us a ve­ry clear account of the main heads of the Apoſtolick Catechiſm in theſe five heads, Faith in Chriſt, repentance from dead works, doctrine of Baptiſms, laying on of hands, and the Reſurrection of the dead, Heb. 6.2. Which are clear Scriptural and fundamental notions: and Timothy being Cate­chized, is ſaid to have learned the52 Scripture from his youth, 2 Tim. 3.15.

Reaſ. 3The third Reaſon, This was the matter of Catechizing in the primitive and pure times of the Church after the Apoſtles; for they inſtructed in the Doctrine of the Trinity and faith in Chriſt the Mediator and the like, as may appear by ancient writings, and the Caterhiſms of the Fathers, as Auguſtine and others: We read of ma­ny converted to the Faith of Chriſt in the Catechizing School of Alex­andria, and ſo well grounded in the Faith of Chriſt, that they were fit­ted for Martyrdome, and chearfully ſubmitted to the ſame. Six of Ori­gens Diſciples, whereof ſome were but learning their Catechiſm, are re­corded at one time to be led to Mar­tyrdome: certainly then the matter of this exerciſe could be no other then the chief principles of the Chri­ſtian Religion.

The fourth Reaſon, It is only Ca­techizing in Scripture Doctrine and principles of Religion, that train up in the fear of God in truth and godlineſſe,53 which all children ought to be educated in: this matter is proper to that ex­cellent end of this exerciſe (viz.) the glory of God and ſalvation of the ſoul, before ſpoken of; and therefore this only muſt be the matter of Ca­techizing; for in all effects to be pro­duced, there muſt be a ſutableneſſe between the cauſa and the cauſatum. Theſe precedent reaſons being ſeri­ouſly conſidered, I hope may clear it to every rational man's judgement, that the matter of Catechizing muſt alwaies be the heads, and yet only the heads of Chriſtian Religion that are matters of Faith and ſtanding principles. And now before I pro­ceed to make known to you the man­ner of this exerciſe, I muſt make a little ſtay to remove an Objection framed from this matter againſt this exerciſe, thus:

Object. Sir, ſeeing that the ſum of Chriſtian Religion extracted out of Scripture, as Re­pentance, Faith, Sacraments, Reſur­rection, and the Doctrine of the Tri­nity and the like, muſt be as you ſay the proper matter of Catechizing,52〈1 page duplicate〉53〈1 page duplicate〉54Wherein doth it differ from preaching? which we all know to be an ordi­nance of Jeſus Chriſt treating of the Doctrine of the Scripture, and that very matter that you have men­tioned to be the matter of this ex­erciſe; and if it do not differ, may it not be ſufficient that we ſubmit to Preaching, but we muſt needs have Catechizing, which doth but the ſame thing impoſed on us, as ſo ne­ceſſary a duty, and diſtinct from Prea­ching?

Anſw. 1It will not follow: firſt, becauſe Preaching and Catechizing are con­verſant about the ſame matter, nay and alſo carry on to the ſame end, that they are not different and di­ſtinct duties each from other, for they may treat of the ſame matter in different manners; for though Faith and Hope are converſant about the ſame matter, the promiſes, and cen­ter in the ſame end of accompliſh­ment and enjoyment, yet I hope no man will deny them to be different and diſtinct graces in the ſoul: and again, though the preaching of the55 Word, and adminiſtration of the Sa­crament commend to us the ſame mat­ter of Chriſt crucified, in ſo much as that they are called the one ver­bum audibile, the audible word to be heard; and the other verbum viſibile, the word to be ſeen, and ſo both the Word; yet it will not follow, but that they are different and di­ſtinct Ordinances, and not the ſame, even as the learning of ABC is dif­ferent and diſtinct from ready rea­ding, which is but a recitall of the ſame material letters: and the lear­ning of the firſt rules of any Art or Science is different from more per­fect proceeding in the ſame Art or Science, whether Logick, Philoſo­phy, or the like.

Anſw. 2Secondly, We ſhall now ſhew un­to you, that though Catechizing and Preaching do treat of the ſame mat­ter, the Doctrine of Scripture, yet they are different and diſtinct Ordi­nances in the Church of God, and not to ſtand on the conſideration of them as diſtinctly commanded in the Scripture, and have alwaies been56 diſtinctly ſubjected to in the Churches of God, I ſhall ſatisfie my ſelf in ſhewing you wherein they differ, which I hope may ſatisfie you that they may not be confounded; the which Mr. Greenham that reverend and godly Author hath in part done before me, who notes them to dif­fer in theſe three things, unto which I ſhall adde two other.

Firſt, Preaching is the dilating of one member of the Chriſtian Reli­gion into a whole Treatiſe: Cate­chizing is the contracting of the whole into a ſum.

Secondly, Preaching is unto all ſorts, but Catechizing only to the younger, and rude, or igno­rant.

Thirdly, Preaching is not exacted to be repeated, Catechizing is ex­acted.

Fourthly, Catechizing principally informes the Judgement in the Theo­ry of Chriſtian Religion: but Prea­ching doth chiefly excite the affecti­ons, and directs the heart in the pra­ctiſe of the ſame.


Fifthly, Catechizing layeth the foundation of Chriſt in the ſoul, and preaching builds upon it; that teacheth the ABC, or firſt rudi­ments, this perfecteth the knowledge of Chriſtian Doctrine. Having thus ſpoken of the matter, we come in the next place to ſpeak unto you of the manner of Catechizing, con­cerning which we ſhall propound three things to be conſidered.

Firſt, Some rules concerning the formes of Catechiſm to be uſed.

Secondly, Who muſt Catechize, and how they muſt demean themſelves in this duty.

Thirdly, Who muſt be Catechi­zed, and how they muſt carry them­ſelves in it.

Firſt of the firſt of theſe, concer­ning the formes of Catechizing to be uſed, obſerve theſe four rules.

1. The matter, heads and grounds of Catechizing, are contained and expreſſed in Scripture, and therefore alwaies the ſame; but the formes are not, but left to the liberty of the Church, and therefore variable ſo,58 as that we are not ſo preciſely ty­ed to the form as we are to the matter.

2. Such formes are moſt fitting, as may be found to tend moſt to the edification of the Church, in confir­ming them in the truths and prin­ciples moſt oppoſed, in which reſpect the Church hath taken liberty to vary.

3. It is very expedient and pro­fitable, that there be in the Church two formes of Catechiſm, a ſhorter and more eaſie for the younger ſort which are not yet able to learn and commit to memory a larger; and a larger wherein for the riper ſort the principles of Religion are more fully handled.

4. Every form uſed muſt be found brief, plain, orderly, and by way of queſtion and anſwer eaſie; for that this form of teaching is moſt expedient, as by way of queſtion and anſwer.

Firſt, it is moſt ſutable to the rude and ignorant infant capacity by putting words into their mouthes,59 helping them to anſwer and under­ſtand when they ſee the queſtion propounded and anſwer to be ren­dred.

Secondly, As enjoyned to the people of Iſrael, who are required to whet upon their children their Catechetical Doctrine, which can no otherwaies be done, then by repetition of the ſtrokes of the ſame ſubject.

Thirdly, As practiſed by Jeſus Chriſt when willing to receive an account of his Diſciples profiting under his Miniſtry, and to confirm them in the Faith in oppoſition to the common fame of the world, Whom ſay ye that I am?

Fourthly, As that which puts them into an aptitude and readineſs of rendring an account of the faith that is in them to every one that asketh, being hereby better enabled to retain and reſolve anſwers pro­per to queſtions ſuddenly propoun­ded (but before known) then the knowledge of bare notions without the queſtions to which they anſwer.


The ſecond thing conſiderable in the manner of Catechizing, is the perſons that muſt Catechize, toge­ther with their carriage in this duty; now the perſons that muſt do it, will be found to be three ſorts of men:

1. Miniſters in their Congrega­tions.

2. Schoolmaſters in their Schools.

3. Maſters of families in their fa­milies.

The firſt ſort that muſt Catechize muſt be Miniſters, that have taken up­on them the Paſtoral charge of a congregation to feed them with knowledge and underſtanding accor­ding to the ſeveral capacities of the ſouls, as well young as old under their charge: and that it is their duty, may appear by theſe enſuing reaſons.

Firſt, The careful performance of this duty by the faithful Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt, and moſt eminent and reve­rend Fathers of the primitive times: not to ſtand upon the probability of Paul's Catechizing, from 1 Cor. 6114.19. it is much more than pro­bable, that it was done in the Church of the Hebrewes by the Author of this Epiſtle, who ſharply checks their non-proficiency in this duty. Euſebius tels us, that before Pantenus, Clemens, Origen, Mark the Evangeliſt did Catechize at Alexandria, which was commended in him by Philo Ju­deus, which three were themſelves Catechizers in the ſame Church of Alexandria in the years of our Lord Two hundred, and two hundred and fifty, each ſucceeding other, Origen being ſet up by the diligent over­ſight of Demetrius their Biſhop; and after whom ſucceeded Heraclus, and Dionyſius Alexandrinus, and others: alſo about the ſame time we read of Optatus, Catechizer at Carthage in the daies of Cyprian: alſo the ſeverall Catechiſms of the Fathers, as Cyrill, Gregory, Nicen, the books of Auguſtine de Catechizandis rudibus; and his four books ad Catechumenos; Athanaſius his Synopſis of ſacred Scripture; and Fulgentius de fide ad diaconum, do pro­claim that conſcionable care they had62 to the diſcharge of this duty: and the duty of Miniſters for the edifying of the body of Chriſt being alwaies one and the ſame, their conſciona­ble diſcharge of this exerciſe doth declare it to be a Miniſterial duty.

Secondly, A Miniſter by preaching doth not diſcharge his duty, if he neglect Catechizing: becauſe thereby he in­ſtructs only thoſe that are adulti, men of years, and ſtrength to digeſt ſuch meats, and either wholly neglects to feed youth, no leſſe committed to his charge as members of the Church, or elſe adminiſters that food which is unſutable and cannot be by them digeſted, in ſtead of the milk of prin­ciples of Religion, of which even babes in Chriſt and almoſt in years are capable: and truly we have cauſe to ſuſpect one great cauſe of young mens high flown oppoſition of the truth and Ordinances of God, to ſpring from their affected hearing of thoſe things in preaching which they cannot digeſt into orderly nou­riſhment, becauſe they have not by the milk of Catechizing been prepared thereunto.


Thirdly, Miniſters ought to Cate­chize to make all his pains and preaching the more profitable to his hearers, by keeping freſh in their mindes and memories thoſe ſtanding notions of Chriſtian Religion, which he doth by preaching more particularly il­luſtrate, more fully prove, and more powerfully apply to their af­fections.

Fourthly, That thereby he may more clearly diſcern the eſtate of his flock, obſerve the Maſters of fami­lies in their proper places to diſ­charge their duties, and ſee their pro­ficiency in grace and knowledge un­der all the Ordinances of God by him diſpenſed, confirming them in the truth learned, which is clear to have been the reaſon of Chriſt his Catechizing of his Diſciples after his long preaching, and many miracles amongſt them, in Mat. 13.51. Ha­ving preached to them many para­bles, he asketh them if they under­ſtand: and Mat. 16.13, 14. Whom ſay men, whom ſay ye that I am?

Fifth and laſt reaſon why Mi­niſters64 muſt Catechize in their Con­gregations, is that they may detect all lurking deceivers that lie in wait to ſe­duce the people committed to their charge from the truth, and diſcern when any of them begin to be tainted with error and falſe doctrine, whereby they are di­rected how to improve themſelves as skilful workmen in the Lords houſe, dividing the Word aright, defending the truth and ſoul with which he is charged, ſtopping the mouth of all gainſayers: which is the great reaſon of that general Apoſtolical charge of holding faſt the form of ſound words, in 2 Tim. 1.13. and commendation of obeying the form of Doctrine in Rom. 6.17. which the learned conclude to be Cate­chiſm.

Having thus given you the Rea­ſons why Catechizing is the duty of Miniſters, I ſhall paſſe from this with this hearty deſire, that God would put into the hearts of all his Mini­ſters to perform their duty herein in theſe backſliding daies, wherein the principles of Religion are ſo gene­rally65 unknown and declined: and ſo I come to conſider the ſecond ſort of Catechiſts, which are School­maſters in their Schools, whoſe di­ligence in the diſcharge hereof ſhould write really what is worthily writ­ten on the wals of that famous School of this City at Paules, Schola Catechiſationis puerorum in optima & maxima fide Chriſti; and for theſe fol­lowing reaſons.

1. That the main and chief end of erecting Schools, was alwaies inſtru­ction in, and preparation to divine wor­ſhip: for even among the Pagans they did appoint Schools to the end that the Oracles of their gods might be read to the youth, and they Philo­ſophically prepared to purſue the ſummum bonum of the ſoul: and among the Papiſts to inſtruct and train up in traditions of the Fathers and C­nons of the Church concerning the corrupt worſhip of God; whom it were an exceeding ſin and ſhame for Chriſtian Schoolemaſters in the reformed Churches to come ſhort of by not inſtructing in66 the true worſhip of the true God.

2. As this was the end of Schools in general, ſo we ſhall ſee that in Church of God, among the Jewes and alſo among the Chriſtians, Schools were conſtituted and conſerved by the ſpecial providence of God, for the inſtruction of youth in ſhe Doctrine of his worſhip, as well as other learning. The eight and forty cities of the Levites were di­ſperſed abroad through all the tribes of the children of Iſrael, that they might be as Schools wherein the youth might drink in the Doctrine of the Law and the Prophets, toge­ther with the knowledge of the li­beral Arts: ſuch as theſe were the Schools of the Prophets in Shiloh, Ramoth gilead, Jericho, Bethel, and Mount Carmell, and the Scholars there­of were called the ſons of the Pro­phets, 1 Sam. 9.10, 5. 2 King. 2.3. & 4.25. & 6.2. And it is worthy obſervation, that Samuel was Maſter of the School of the Prophets at Nai­oth near Ramah at ſuch time as Da­vid fled from the preſence of Saul, 1 Sam. 19.20. And ſuch a School67 as this Gamaliel kept, of whom Paul declares himſelf to have been taught like a childe the knowledge of the Law as well as other learning, Act. 22.3. and as theſe Schools were among the Jewes, ſo we ſhall finde them in the Chriſtian Churches: Euſebius reporteth out of Philo Judeus, that there was at Alexandria in Ae­gypt an ancient School founded by Ptolemeus, famous throughout the world; when Mark the Evangeliſt preached the Goſpel there, he turned the ſame into a Chriſtian School; the which did afterward ſo conti­nue; and in it Origen was School­maſter, and when by reaſon of the multitude of the Scholars that reſort­ed to it,〈◊〉found himſelf not able to perform the duty, he choſe Hera­clas (a man expert in holy Scripture and ſtudious of divine things, very eloquent, and not ignorant of Phi­loſophy) to be his Uſher, fellow-helper, dividing the company, did appoint him to initiate and enter them in the faith, and he himſelf did teach them that were riper, not68 only in Philoſophy Geometry and other liberal Arts, but in divine things alſo. So Pamphilus a Chriſtian Philoſopher did ordain at Ceſarea, a famous School both for divine and humane learning: and Nazian­zen doubted not to call the School at Athens a golden parent of all ſpeech and learning. To this reaſon we might add an evidence of God's conſtituting of Schools as fountains of Chriſtian Religion from Satans enmity againſt the ſame, expreſſed by the cruel martyrdome of famous Caſſianus of Forum in Italy, by his Scholars at the cruel command of the Emperor, and the putting down of ſuch Schools by Julian the Apo­ſtate in his devilliſh deſign of rooting out all Chriſtian Doctrine.

Thirdly, Schoolmaſters ought to Catechize, becauſe it is impoſſible for youth, to go well forward in vertue and good manners (the end of all learning) unleſſe they be well inſtructed in the prin­ciples of Religion and Doctrine of Chriſt: for the fear of the Lord is the begin­ning of wiſdome.


Fourthly, Without Catechizing, godly parents do miſſe of the end of all their care and charges in ſetting their children to ſchool, which is to be educated in the fear of the Lord, and inſtructed in the true Religion: which neglected, a Pa­gan were as good as a Chriſtian, a Papiſt as good as a Proteſtant School­maſter for them.

Fifthly, In not Catechizing, they tranſgreſſe the Law of Church and all Chriſtian Common-wealth: which re­quires that a Schoolmaſter ſhould ſubſcribe to ſound Doctrine: be­cauſe he ought chiefly to teach Re­ligion.

Laſtly, Prayers (which we ſuppoſe to be in Chriſtian Schools (unleſſe they will come ſhort of Paganiſh tutors, who uſed to begin their leſſons with invocation to their gods) cannot but be profaned and uſed unreverently, where Catechizing is negle­cted: becauſe through want of in­ſtruction, the youth underſtand not the duty in generall, nor petition in particular, and ſo it is unto them as in an unknown tongue.

Having thus ſhewed you the Rea­ſons70 why Miniſters and Schoolmaſters ſhould Catechize, we come now to conſider the Reaſons why this du­ty is to be performed by Parents and Maſters of families, which are briefly theſe:

Firſt, God commands and commends it in them, in Deut. 4.9. & 6.7. & 11.19. Thou ſhalt teach thy children, thy ſons and thy ſons ſons; in Epheſ. 6.4. Parents are required to bring up their chil­dren in the inſtruction and information of the Lord: beſides that command in Prov. 22.6. Train up a childe in his youth: and this duty hath been com­mended in Abraham, in Gen. 14.14. & 18.19. and the effect of it in Ti­mothy.

Secondly, That they may (as much as in them lies) help forward the regeneration of their children: to whom they have conveyed an evill and corrupted na­ture. To this Catechizing is ſingu­larly helpful by laying in the ſoul the Word of God, by which is conveighed the immortal ſeed, in­forming them in the Doctrine of God, ſinfull nature and their71 own covenant with God in Bap­tiſm.

Thirdly, That they may propagate Religion to poſterity according to their du­ty, in Deut. 4.9. Gen. 18.18. un­to which end, as we before noted, Ca­techizing is ſingularly inſtrumental.

Fourthly, That they may prepare their families even in the time of their youth to bear witneſſe to the truth, unto the confuſion of the enemies thereof, as did the Children of Merindoll: nay under the moſt exquiſite tor­ments, to rejoyce in and encourage to patient conſtancy in the faith of Chriſt: for this hath added much force unto the truth of God in all ages, that it hath not only been ſealed with the bloud of men of age and gray hairs, but alſo youth, even of Infants, who have been unmovably fixed in it: which how could they have been, or their parents encourage them to it, and endear them to them­ſelves by it, if they had not been well inſtructed in the Doctrine of Chriſt, and their Parents diſcharged their duty in Catechizing them betimes:72 of the which we ſhall finde ſeverall inſtances in the third perſecution un­der Adrian the Emperour, we read of Symphoriſa a godly matron martyred with her ſeven children: and Sophia with her three children: alſo in the fourth per­ſecution under Antoninus Verus, we read of the ſeven children of Felicitas cruelly and diverſly martyred before her eyes, her ſelf chearfully alſo ſealing the truth with death: ſo alſo a woman of Syria and her two daughters, and Athanaſia and her three daughters: What ſhall I ſay of young Eulatia, and others un­der the Heathens, beſides the con­ſtancy of a boy of eight or nine years old well inſtructed by his father: John Fatty, who was by Bonner cruelly whipped for his profeſſion: What ſhall I ſay of Vitalis, who ſuffered with his godly Maſter Agrico: of John Leaf, an Apprentice, who was with Mr. Bradford burned at the nineteenth year of his age: of Tho. Hinſhaw, cruel­ly whipped in Bonner's garden for the Truth? but above all I cannot paſſe with ſilence the Childe which wit­neſſed the truth of God with re­nowned73 Romanus when but ſeven years of age, who having witneſſed the profeſſion of it under cruel whip­ping, and at laſt having his skin pull'd off his head, was thus encou­raged by his godly Mother: My childe thirst after the cup of which the Children of Bethleem did drink; remember Iſaac's obedience unto death: ſuffer a little my childe, thou ſhalt anon go to him that will cover thy naked head with a crown of eter­nall glory: and when after with a ſmiling countenance he had appro­ved himſelf invincible by ſuffering torments, and was cruelly beheaded to the grief of the beholders, and great joy of the Mother, only ſtan­ding by with dry eyes ſinging to Gods glory,

All praiſe with heart and voice,
O Lord, we yeeld to thee,
To whom the death of all thy Saints,
we know moſt dear to be.

This conſtancy of the childe, and comfort of the Mother, muſt needs witneſſe the truth of his anſwer to74 the Captain that he ſucked in the Do­ctrine of Chriſt with his mothers milk: and much enforce this Reaſon for Maſters of families Catechizing.

The fifth and laſt Reaſon why Maſters of families ſhould Catechize, may be this, That they may preſerve the Church of God in their houſes, faithfully diſcharge the Prophetical office (to which they are redeemed by Jeſus Chriſt) in inſtructing their families in matters of Faith and obedience, whereby they are enabled to diſ­charge their ſeveral duties towards God and man, that they may ſweeten relation, and the performances of their prieſtly office in prayer and praiſes to be preſented with faith and fear, with fervor and feeling, whileſt by diligent Catechizing they are enabled to do all with knowledge and underſtanding.

Having thus ſhewed you who muſt Catechize, we ſhall briefly ſhew you what they muſt do in the perfor­mance of this duty, before we ſhew you who muſt be Catechized.

Firſt, The Catechiſm ready and the Ca­techized75 preſent, they muſt (as in every other Ordinance of God) begin with hearty and earneſt prayer to the moſt wiſe God for his bleſſing on this di­vine exerciſe, that it may tend to the edification of all concerned in it.

Secondly, Propound the queſtions, and require an audible anſwer thereunto: for it is moſt expedient that the Cate­chiſm be by queſtion and anſwer, as was before noted.

Thirdly, Audibly repeat the queſtion and anſwer, that ſuch as ſtand by may be ſure to hear, obſerve, and have it the better imprinted in their mindes and memories.

Fourthly, Cauſe the Catechized accor­ding to their capacities to prove the ſeveral propoſitions expreſſed in the queſtions and anſwers, by ſome ſutable places of Scripture, that they may be able to diſcern them to be the truths of God grounded on his Word.

Fifthly, according to their ſeveral abilities, and in their proper places, they muſt explain the ſeveral propoſiti­ons that they may the better be underſtood, and the heart be the more affected76 with the ſame, and alſo take notice of the principal errors that do oppoſe them: they muſt perform the whole duty cheerfully and reverently, as becomes an ordinance of God; prai­ſing the forward, encouraging the willing, patiently bearing with the weak, and gravely admoniſhing the unruly.

We come now to ſhew you who muſt be Catechized: in the conſideration whereof, we ſhall firſt ſhew who were wont to be Catechized in the primitive times: and then who amongſt us ought to ſubject themſelves to this duty.

In the primitive times they did uſually Catechize two ſorts, the one before, and the other after Baptiſm: thoſe that were Catechized before Baptiſm, were Heathens converted from their Paga­niſm to the knowledge of the true God, who before they were received into the fel­lowſhip of Jeſus Chriſt, were Catechi­zed. Juſtin Martyr in his ſecond Apolo­gie for the Chriſtians, declares, that if any Heathen man deſired to be received77 into the fellowſhip of the Church, he was firſt Catechized in the principles of Religion; and then hearing further the Word of God, as it were the con­ditions of the covenant: afterward came into the face of the congrega­tion, and made a profeſſion thereof promiſing their obedience thereunto, and ſo they were baptized, and re­ceived as members: ſuch an one was Auguſtine, when converted from Manichiſm, he was Catechized, and then Bapti­zed, in which time of his Catechiſm he wrote many books: ſo Ambroſe was in his Catechiſm and not baptized when choſen Biſhop of Millaine: ſuch as theſe were the Burgundians whom Socrates de­clares to have been ſeven daies in Ca­techizing, and baptized in the eighth day: Jerom ad Pannachium makes men­tion of ſuch as were in his daies Ca­techized forty daies, and then bapti­zed: in Tertullian's daies they did Ca­techize till Eaſter or Whitſontide, and then baptize: in a word, ſuch as theſe were Catechumeni and no­vices ſent away from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper.


The ſecond ſort Catechized, were the children of the faithful, who had been baptized in their Infancy: who when they came to years of diſcretion were taught how great things the Lord had done for them and for their forefathers, in receiving them into his covenant; the which things when they had learned, and were able to render a reaſon of the ſame, they were brought into the Congregation, and made a profeſſion of their Faith, promiſing obedience thereunto; and ſo in their own per­ſons renewed covenant with God, and were confirmed members of the Church, as Deodate infers from Heb. 6.2. Laying on of hands: and ſo alſo Calvin, Beza, Hemingius, and others on the place.

Having thus ſhewed who were ac­cuſtomed to be Catechized in the pri­mitive times and Churches, we may take notice amongſt us all being baptized in their infancy, we are not in capacity of admitting that diffe­rence, and therefore we muſt in gene­rall reſolve, that thoſe and all thoſe79 that are ignorant of or not well inſtructed in the main and fundamental grounds of Religion and the Christian Doctrine, muſt be Catechized, whether they be young or old, rich or poor, high or low, married or unmarried; for ignorance is alwaies the ground of this exer­ciſe, and therefore whileſt age, qua­lity and condition cannot expell or diſpenſe with ignorance in any, they cannot exempt any from this in­ſtructing ordinance of God: but if indeed we might conclude thoſe that are of years to have been Catechized, then we only make youth the ſubject of this exerciſe, who would be put to it by their parents as ſoon as they are ca­pable of any thing elſe, and be pre­ſented in the Church ſo ſoon as they can quietly abide, and give a reaſo­nable account of their capacity to be inſtructed; that ſo being betime ſeaſoned with this ſpiritual liquor, they may alwaies retain the ſavour of it: and trained up in it in the daies of his youth, they may not depart from it when they are old, Prov. 22.6. that thereby the Word of God may grow80 up with them as a light unto their feet, and lanthorn their paths, in directing them to mortifie luſt betimes, to avoid diſobedience to parents, unthriſti­neſſe, idleneſſe and vanity, and other profaneneſſe, to which youth is very prone and ſubject; and to teach them to remember their Creator be­times, know their duty to God, their parents and others, and when infla­med with youthful luſt, to conſider that for all things they muſt come to Judgement.

But more particularly children and youth ought to be exerciſed in this ordinance of Catechizing, and ap­prove themſelves the ſubjects of this exerciſe for theſe ſpeciall rea­ſons: That,

1. Covenant to them confirmed in Bap­tiſm may be underſtood and improved: want of Catechizing makes Baptiſm ineffectual; the Jewes by Catechizing made their children to underſtand the nature of Circumciſion and the Paſſeover, and covenant thereby ſealed: Confirmation of children was uſed, when by Catechizing they were81 able perſonally to claim and engage in the covenant.

2. Counſell unto duty may be ready at hand: Children as ſoon as they can act their reaſon, are ingaged to duty to God, Eccleſ. 12.1. Remember thy Creator in the daies of thy youth: and Catechizing acquaints them with it. I have before noted Iſaac's medita­tion, and Abel's ſacrifice to be the fruit of Catechizing: how could King Joſiah at ſixteen year old ſeek the God of David, and at twenty years old zea­louſly deſtroy Idolatry, if he had not been well Catechized? and how ſhould King Edward the ſixth his zea­lous reſiſtance of Popiſh ſuperſtiti­on, have proclaimed more Divinity in his finger then in Biſhop Cran­mer's head, if he had not well ſtudi­ed the Catechiſm? And as they owe duty to God, ſo to men, to their pa­rents obedience, to their elders in age or office reverence, which they are counſelled in by Catechizing.

3. Curbe may grow up with their cor­ruptions: a mention of coming to judgement, gives a check to youth­full82 luſt, to the young mans rejoycing in his youth, and taking his pleaſure, Eccleſ. 11.9. A well Catechized Joſeph will in childhood out of enmity to impiety complain of brethrens miſcarriages, Gen. 37.9. an inlightned conſcience will be able to diſpute with the Devill, and ſilence ſuggeſtions unto ſin.

4. Change in their nature and diſpoſi­tion may be wrought: the work of grace is not in any by natural generation, nor infuſed by any extraordinary inſpiration; it muſt therefore be ef­fected in the uſe of ordinary means, whereof none ſute infant capacity as Catechizing; by this the word that incorruptible ſeed by which we are born again,1 Pet. 1.23. is implanted in them to the informing judgement, perſwading the will, and transforming na­ture.

5. Capacity exerciſed in Chriſtianity may be enlarged: We are moſt capable of the art or trade in which we were trained young; our children can beſt apprehend, judge, diſcourſe of, and invent thoſe things about which they83 ſpent their youthfull years: if then they were but exerciſed in principles of Religion and Doctrines of Chri­ſtianity, they would more readily underſtand, diſcourſe and judge of them when they come to years: the great dexterity of the Jewes in the doctrines of the Scriptures, was the reſult of their Catechiſm: the ready anſwers of the children of Merindoll, and the renownd childe which ſuf­fered with Romanus, was no other then the effect of capacity exerciſed in Catechizing.

6. That they may continue a ſtable courſe in profeſſion and practiſe of Chri­ſtianity: A veſſell when old, retains the ſavour of the liquor with which it was ſeaſoned when new,Horace. Quae ſe­mel eſt imbuta recens ſervabit odorem, &c. ſaith the Poet, as the reaſon why youth muſt be inſtructed in beſt things: and God teacheth us to train up a childe in the way he ſhould go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it: cuſtome doth obdurate in any way, and in waies of piety ena­bles to withſtand temptation: the84 tree when it is old, ſtands againſt all ſtrength and ſtormes as it was bent when young: Paul perſwades Timo­thy to continue in the things he lear­ned, his perſwaſive is that〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from a ſucking childe he had known the Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3.14, 15.

I have ſhewed you ought to be Catechized, and why children are in ſpecial to be the ſubjects of this ex­erciſe: I ſhall briefly ſhew how they muſt carry in it, and ſo paſſe to the application: As to their carriage that are to be catechized, note theſe rules.

1. They muſt with all cheerful­neſſe and conſtancy ſit under Cate­chizing as an ordinance of God, ap­pointed for their eternal good, not being diſcouraged by any reproaches of the wicked, nor diverted by any temptation whatſoever.

2. They muſt with all eager dili­gence commit to memory all the principles and heads of Chriſtian Do­ctrine commended and committed to them, not breaking off from the work on any ſenſe of diffi­culty85 in, or indiſpoſition to the exer­ciſe.

3. They muſt be alwaies ready with an holy boldneſſe, to give a reaſon of the hope that is in them to every one that asketh.

4. They muſt with all reverence and modeſty give audible and di­ſtinct anſwers to the ſeveral queſtions