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worde, and brydled and kept in awe with hys holy commaundementes. For commenly as we are in youth brought vp, so we continue in age, and sauer longest of that thynge that we fyrste receaue and taist of. And as a fayre table fynely pulyshed, tho it be neuer so apte to receaue eyther pyctures or wrytinges, yet it doth neyther delyte any mens eyes, neither yet profyte any thing, except the paynter take hys pensill, set to hys hande, and wyth labour and cunnyng replenyshe it wyth scriptures or fygures as apertaineth to hys science, euen so the tender wyttes of yonge chyldren, beynge yet naked and bare of all knowledge thorow the grace of God be apte to receaue goddes gyftes, yf they be applyed and instructed by suche schole maysters, as haue knowledge to brynge them vp and leade them forwardes therin. And what can be more apte to be grauen or paynted in the tender hertes of youthe, then Goddes holy worde? what can lead them a ryghter way to god, to thobedience of theyr Prince and to al vertue and honestie of lyfe, then the syncere vnderstandyng of Gods worde? whyche alone sheweth the waye howe to knowe hym, to loue hym and to serue hym. What can better kepe and staye them, that they do not sodenly and lyghtly fall agayne from theyr fayth? What can cause them more constantly to wythstande thassaultes of the Deuyll, the worlde and the fleshe, and manfullye to beare the crosse of Christ, then to lerne in theyr youth to practise the same? And verely it semeth no new thing that the children of them that be godly, should be thus instructed in the faythe and commaundementes of God, euen from theyr infancye. For Deut. xi. doeth not God commaunde hys people to teache hys
lawe, vnto theyr chyldren and chylders chyldren? Hath not thys knowledge continued from tyme to tyme, amongest them to whome God promysed to be theyr God, and they hys people? Doeth it not appeare by playne expressed wordes of Paule, that Timothe was ii. Tim. iii. broughte vp euen from a chylde in holy scriptures? Hath not the commaundementes of Almyghtye God, thartycles of the Christian faythe, and the Lordes Prayer, been euer necessarelye (sence Christes tyme) requyred of all, both yonge and olde, that professed Christes name, yea though they were not learned to reade? For doutles in these thre pointes is shortlye and playnlye included the necessarye knowledge, of the whole summe of Christes religion, and of all thynges appertaynyng vnto euerlastyng lyfe. In consyderation wherof in thys tyme of your gratious reformation of all vngodlynes, and the setting forth of Goddes trewe glorie. I knowyng my selfe as a subiecte greatly bounden, (and muche the more by reason of my vocation) to set forward the same, am persuaded that thys my smal trauayll in thys behalfe taken, shall not a lytle helpe the sooner to brynge to passe your godly purpose. For by thys lytle treatyse, not only the youth of your graces realme, may lerne to know God, and howe they maye mooste purelye and syncerelye honoure glorifie and serue hym, and may also learne their office and dewtie, howe they ought to behaue themselfes, first towarde God, secondly towardes your Magestie, and so towardes all ministers vnder the same, towardes theyr fathers and mothers, and all other persones of what sorte or degree soeuer they be: but also manye of the older sorte, (suche as loue God, and
haue a zele to hys honoure and glorye, and yet in theyr youth throughe negligence were brought vp in ygnoraunce) may by hearyng of their children, learne in theyr age, that which passed theym in theyr youth.
And as myne intente and endeuoure is to profytte both, and accordynge to myne office, to bryng bothe to the righte knowledge of God, so my most earnest and humble prayer vnto God contynuallye, shalbe that my good mynde and desyre maye haue good successe, and take effecte accordynge to myne expectacion. Whiche thing I assuredly hope shal come to passe, yf it woulde please youre highnes, to suffer this lytle boke by me offered vnto youre Magestie to be redde, taughte and learned of the chyldren of youre moste louyng subiectes, in whome is great hope of al grace godlynes and vertue. Youre Graces humble Subiecte and Chaplayne
Thomas Archbishoppe of Canterbury.