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AN EPISTLE

TO THE

READER.

THAT Popish axiom is. long since exploded, that ignorance is the mother of devotion. The world doth now fee, that without knowledge the mind is not good. And look, as no knowledge is o necesary, as that of the grounds and principles of the Christian religion ; fo no way is so apt to convey it to the minds of men, as that which is called catechistical. More knowledge is ordinarily diffufed, especially among the ignorant and younger, fort, by me hour's catechistical exercise, than by many hours continued discourses. This way helps the understanding, while it provokes the attention ; many elaborate fermons being loft, through the inadvertency of the hearers. Thus not only ignorance is cured, but error also is prevented ; too many being misguided, because they were not at first well grounded in the principles of the doctrine of Christ. For such reasons as these, we highly approve the labors of this reverend brother, in his Explanation of the Affembly's Shorter Catechifin. And having, to our great fatisfaction, perused it our felves, in whole or in part, do readily recommend it unto others : for though he composed it at first for his own particular congregation, yet we judge it may be greatly useful to all Christians in general, especially to private families. The inamer of using it in families, must be left to the discretion of the masters and governors respectively : though yet we concur wiih the author, and think it advisable (as he hints in one of bis epistles) that, after a question in the catechism is propounded, and an antwer without book returned by one of the family, the fame person, or some other, be called upon to read (if not to rebearse) the explanation of it, the rest reading along with him inz fveral books ; by which means, their thoughts (which are apt to wander) will be the more intent upon what they are about

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AN EPISTLE

TO THE

READER.

('HAT Popish axiam is. long since explodod, that ignorance is the mother of devotion. The world doth now fee, that without knowledge the mind is not good. And look, as no knowledge is 6 necessary, as that of the grounds and principles of the Christian religion ; so no way is fo apt to convey it to the minds of men, as that which is called catechistical. More knowledge is ordinaily diffufed, especially among the ignorant and younger fort, by ine hour's catechistical exercise, than by many hours continued discourses. This way helps the understanding, while it provokes the attention ; many elaborate fermons being loft, through the inadvertency of the hearers. Thus not only ignorance is cur

d, but error alfo is prevented ; too many being misguided, because they were not at first well grounded in the principles of the doitrine of Christ. For such reasons as these, we highly approve the labors of this reverend brother, in his Explanation of the Afsembly's Shorter Catechis. And having, ta our great fatisfaction, perifed it ourselves, in whole or in part, do readily recomniend it unto others : for though he composed it at first for his own particular congregation, yet we judge it may be greatly usea ful to all Christians in general, especially to private families. The indmer of using it in families, must be left to the discretion of the masters and governors respectively : though yet we concur wiih the author, and think it advisable (as he hints in one of his epistles) that, after a question in the catechism is propounded, and an anfwer without book returned by one of the family, the fame person, or some other, be called upon to read (if not to rebearje) the explanation of it, the rest reading along with him in fveral books ; by which means, their thoughts (which are apt to wander) will be the more intent upon what they are about.

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