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PREFACE.

Of the Church Catechism there exist explanations in vast variety, and of the Order and Rite of Confirmation they are also sufficiently abundant. Some reason may be justly asked for the appearance of an addition to their number. The apology now to be rendered is very trite on similar occasions, but if just in its assertions, may be satisfactory for its purpose. It is that the author believes that his own objects in these Lectures are useful, and moreover that they are not already elsewhere altogether proposed, at least in any well-known and generally accessible work. An attempt is here made to supply a commentary brief in extent, strict in explanation, and it is trusted devotional in feeling, and also, if the expression may be used, in form. The form of Sermons or Parochial Lectures seems best adapted for bringing a subject to the notice of the members of the church at large, as in that shape we attempt to suit our addresses to persons at once of all ages and degrees of information. Explanations in a catechetical style however enlarged, are apt to be disregarded by persons of maturer years, and are inconvenient for conveying other matter than mere elucidations of meaning. It is certain too that the young should be assisted to a precise grammatical understanding of the very words which they commit to memory. In this respect most existing commentaries seem defective, for in deeper attention to the main matter, that is, the ideas conveyed, they are apt to suppose the construction and sense of the language of the catechism and offices to be more readily perceptible, than even to many grown up persons it really is. To such explanations are nearly related slight historical hints of the growth and force of expressions and usages. The author of these lectures in attempting to provide for these wants, has been guided by recollection of his own childish difficulties, and his more recent observations on the perplexities of the young. Young and old equally need to be exhorted and persuaded that the, baptismal vow, and the other matters of their first instruction, are the great and sufficient heads of knowledge and practice for the whole conduct of Christian life. It is desirable therefore that there should exist such a manual, as while both in bulk and style it is within the reading and apprehension of children, may also bespeak the attention of Christians ripe in years and understanding. These latter objects, in addition to needful verbal explanations, have been the author's aim. His first purpose has been to furnish what is called a running commentary on the text of the Church Catechism and the Order of Confirmation, interspersed with such practical reflections as obviously present themselves, and he has made additions of such hortatory matter as appeared in closest connexion with the leading topics of the successive lectures, and also of general application. Theological questions, and indeed it should be said, many gospel truths, are for the most part here dwelt on, only just as far as the catechetical statements of them seem to require illustration, the design of the author being that these lectures should humbly accompany, and not pretend to supplant more important and complete publications.

ON THE CHURCH CATECHISM.

LECTURE I.

THE CHRISTIAN COVENANT.

Luke i, 4. “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things,

wherein thou hast been instructed.”

ERRATA.

Page 27, line 2, for Apostle's read Apostles'

50, line 12, for Apostle's read Apostles'
65, line 6, for authorities and ordinance, read autho-

rity and ordinances
87, line 13, for enables, read enable
132, line 15, for leads, read lead

found to mean that he was going to furnisu smuphilus with full and sure written proofs of the matters which the disciple had already learned by the ear, in which in fact he had been catechized. This teaching might not indeed have been carried on quite after our present plan of catechism, but

B

than even to many grown up persons it really is. To such explanations are nearly related slight historical hints of the growth and force of expressions and usages. The author of these lectures in attempting to provide for these wants, has been guided by recollection of his own childish difficulties, and his more recent observations on the perplexities of the young. Young and old equally need to be exhorted and persuaded that the, baptismal vow, and the other matters of their first instruction, are the great and sufficient heads of knowledge and practice for the whole conduct of Christian life. It is desirable therefore that there should exist such a manual, as while both in bulk and style it is within the reading and apprehension of children, may also bespeak the attention of Christians ripe in years and understanding. These latter objects, in addition to needful verbal explanations, have been the author's aim. His first purpose has been to furnish what is called a running commentary on the text of the Church Catechism and the Order of Confirmation, interspersed with such practical reflections as obviously present themselves, and he has made additions of such hortatory matter as appeared in closest connexion with the leading topics of the successive lectures, and also of general application. Theological questions, and indeed it should be said, many gospel truths, are for the most part here dwelt on, only just as far as the catechetical statements of them seem to require illustration, the design of the author being that these lectures should humbly accompany, and not pretend to supplant more important and complete publications.

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