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THE

PREF A CE.

T

H A T Catechizing is an Ordinance of

God, few will doubt, when they consider the Apostles did first lay the Fundamentals of Religion; Heb. vi. 1. And fed Babes with Milk, teaching them the first Principles of the Oracles of God, Heb v. 12. and questionless taught them in that Manner, which was most suitable to the Capacity of the Learners, which may well be sup. posed to be by plain and short Questions, and suitable Answers thereunto; and therefore this has been a constant Practice in the Church of God: and the Primitive Church had a Particular appropriate hereunto, whom they called Catechist.

And so all well governed and wisely managed Churches, have still maintained and used it, as knowing the Necessity and Usefulness thereof: for the younger Sort to inform them in the Principles of that Religion whereinto they were Baptized; and for the Establishment of the Adult and more aged therein.

Hence have issued all those little Composures of all the fundamental Doctrines of Faith and Practice fo handled (which we call Catechisms) in the Churches; and particularly in ours, whereof there are many and divers, whose Authors have

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well deserved for their Endeavours to inform and edify the People thereby.

But among them all, none excel this little Catechisın of the Assembly, for Orthodoxy, Fulness, and Method.

And because the Answers therein are soine of them pretty large, and Treat of the most profound Mysteries of our Religion; therefore several Persons have bestowed cheir good and laudable Pains, fome in descanting more largely, and proving by Scriptural Reafons the Particulars: and one has fewn the Harmony thereof with the Articles and Homilies of the Church of England (designed, I suppose, to remove the Prejudice which some have taken against it). Others have parted the Questions and Answers into several littic onės, under each, to make them more intelligible to younger Ones, and more easy to be remembred.

Arnóng whom, Worthy, Orthodox, and Excellent Mr. John Flevel may be ranked, wko 2mong other of his many and most profitable Labours, applied fiimself to the chewing of this Bread of Life, or crumbling it into finaller Pieces, for the Conveniency of Children and (indeed) of all, wherein (as in all his other Works) he hath thewnı himself a Workman that needs not to be alhamed.

There needs no other Recommendations to this Postbumouś Piece, but the worthy Author's Name; he was removed before he had compleat

ly

ly finished it; he had prépared his Questions and Answers upon the second Petition of the Lord's Prayer; but lived not to propose them in the publick-Congregation. God then translated him into his Kingdom of Glory above, while he was fo induftrioully endeavouring to promote the Kingdom of Grace below.

The other five remaining Questions and Anfwers (to compleat the Work) were done by a ruder hand; as may easily be discerned by any obfervant Reader, who will find himself transfer'd from a plain, clear, and delightful Stile, Method, and Manner, into more rough, disorderly, and unpleasant ones; for who, indeed, could equal this Divine Labourer? Not the Compleater: who would account himself to have made very great Attainnients in Divinity and Usefulness, if he were left but a few Furlongs behind him.

Let the Reader ufe and peruse this Piece, and he will see Cause to bless God for the Author.

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