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In compliance with current copyright law, Cornell University Library produced this replacement volume on paper that meets the ANSI Standard Z39.48-1992 to replace the irreparably deteriorated original.
CONFESSION OF FAITH;
LARGER AND SHORTER CATECHISMS,
Scripture-Proofs at Large :
THE SUM OF SAVING KNOWLEDGE,
(CONTAINED IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, AND HELD FORTH IN THE SAID
COVENANTS, NATIONAL AND SOLEMN LEAGUE;
DIRECTORIES FOR PUBLICK AND FAMILY WOR-
FORM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT, ETC.
OF PUBLICK AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH OF
WITH ACTS OF ASSEMBLY AND PARLIAMENT, RE-
Deut. vi. 6, 7.-And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt
7 4 86 A4 1.
In terms of Her Majesty's Letters Patent to her Printers for Scotland, and of the Instructions issued by Her Majesty in Council, dated Eleventh July, Eighteen Hundred and Thirty-nine years, I hereby License and Authorise THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, Booksellers in Edinburgh, to Print within the premises situated in Hope Park, Edinburgh, at present occupied by them as a Printing-Office, and to Publish, as by the Authority of Her Majesty, an Edition of the Confession of Faith, in Bourgeois and Minion type, Duodecimo size, to consist of Ten Thousand Copies, as proposed in their Declaration, dated the Twelfth day of April, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty years; the terms and conditions of the said instructions being always, and in all points, fully complied with and observed by the said Thomas Nelson and Sons.
LONDON. 24th April 1860.
HEADS OF FAMILIES
8 we cannot but with grief of soul lament those multitudes of errors, blasphemies, and all kinds of profaneness, which have in this last age, like a mighty deluge, overflown this nation; so, among several other sins which have helped to open the flood-gates of all these impieties, we cannot but esteem the disuse of family instruction one of the greatest. The two great pillars upon which the kingdom of Satan is erected, and by which it is upheld, are ignorance and error; the first step of our manumission from this spiritual thraldom consists in having our eyes opened, and being turned from darkness to light, Acts xxvi. 18. How much the serious endeavours of godly parents and masters might contribute to an early seasoning the tender years of such as are under their inspection, is abundantly evident, not only from their special influence upon them, in respect of their authority over them, interest in them, continual presence with them, and frequent opportunities. of being helpful to them; but also from the sad effects which, by woeful experience, we find to be the fruit of the omission of this duty. It were easy to set before you a cloud of witnesses, the language of whose practice hath been not only an eminent commendation of this duty, but also a serious exhortation to it. As Abel, though dead, yet speaks by his example to us for imitation of his faith, &c., Heb. xi. 4; so do the examples of Abraham, of Joshua, of the parents of Solomon, of the grandmother and mother of Timothy, the mother of Augustine, whose care was as well to nurse up the souls as the bodies of their little ones;. and as their pains herein was great, so was their success no way unanswerable.
We should scarce imagine it any better than an impertinency, in this noon-day of the gospel, either to inform or persuade in a duty so expressly commanded, so frequently urged, so highly encouraged, and so eminently owned by the Lord in all ages with his blessing, but that our sad experience tells us, this duty is not more needful, than it is of late neglected. For the restoring of this duty to its due observance, give us leave to suggest this double advice.
The first concerns heads of families in respect of themselves; That as the Lord hath set them in place above the rest of their family, they would labour in all wisdom and spiritual understanding to be above them also. It is an uncomely sight to behold men in years babes in knowledge; and how unmeet are they to instruct others, who need themselves to be taught which be the first principles of the oracles of God, Heb. v. 12. Knowledge is an accomplishment so desirable, that the devils themselves knew not a more taking bait by which to tempt our first parents, than by the fruit of the tree of knowledge; So shall you be as gods, knowing good and evil. When Solomon had that fa