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Ji Aa Explanation of the most material words and things in the
3. An Explanation of the Two Covenants ; the great Feasts and Fasto
of the Church; and some Religious Terms designed to prepare
To which are Added,
By H. CROSSMAN, M.A.
Rector of Little Bromley, Essex.
Price One Shilling, neatly bound.
The great duty of Family Instruction is, doubtless of the utmus importance to Religion, and the best foun. dation for a Christian belief and practice; but as necesa sary and beneficial as this duty is, it is most notorionsly neglected in many places, especially country parishes where people mind only the putting poor children and servants to work for their bread, but take no care about their precious and immortal souls. How many children are there of ten, twelve, and thirteen years, who scarcely know the God that made them? How ma. ny young persons, apprentices and servants, are there, (as well as children) who know but very little of the Saviour that redeemed them, and seein not so much as to have heurd whether there be any lloly Ghost? Nay, how niany grown people are there, people in years too, who have lived all their days withont knowing these first Principles of Religion! Perhaps it will hardly be believed, that there is so much ignorance in a Chris. tian nation, where the Gospel is daily prcached, and the light of it has shined so long. But it a strict and particular enquiry was made, I fear the Trath of what I say would appear in too many sad instances.
Aud surely it highly concerus us, who are the Ministeis of Christ. to look well to an affair of so much con. sequence to Religion, to watch over the souls of the ig. norant, and to open their eyes, that they may see the wondrous things of God's law. It is our duty to warn Parents and Masters of Families of their carelessness and negligence of the souls under their charge, and to admonist: them to take a more diligent care for the future, to teach their children and servants the knon. ledge of God and their duty. But here is the misfor. tune; many Parents and Masters are themselves ige norant of the most common things in the Christian Doce
trine, and then no wonder that their children and ser. vants are so too. How many are there who come to Church every Lord's Day, yet know not the meaning of several sentences in the Lord's Prayer, the Belief, and other parts of our daily service ! neither do they under. stand many expressions that are commonly used in Preaching ; who are ever hearing and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; And all for want of proper in. struction in the time of their youth.
There can be po building without a foundation : and it is necessary that young persons should be well grounded in the principles of our Most Holy Faith, if ever we desire they should make any progress or improvment in it. In all arts and sciences some consi. derable time and pains are spent in learning the terms, or first principles of them; and ought not the same and greater care to be taken in the things pertaining to the kingdom of God? ought not our children to be well in. structed in the meaning of the terms and words that are generally used in the Christian Doctrine, before they can make any proficiency in the knowledge or practice of it?
Neither are instructions of this sort designed only for children, but for all, who, through the carelessness of their Parents and Governors, and the misfortune of a low education, are ignorant of what is necessary for them to believe and know, in order to their Salvation. Here also such may be taught the meaning of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, the nature and ends of the Sa.' craments, and may learn to understand such words and expressions as they commonly hear in Sermons. And I trust that all honest and sincere Christians, who need instuction will gladly embrace an opportunity of informing themselves in the knowledge of God and their duty.
And to prevent for the time to come all such shame ful ignoravce as is justly complained of in country parishes, let me earnesly entreat all you who are Parents "d Masters of familes, not to neglect the ehildren and
servants under your care, but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Use all possible endeavours to teach them to read, and to instruct theia in the first principles of our most Holy Religion : It is as innch your duty to feed their souls as it is to feed their bodies : and to call them to Prayers, and to instruct them iu the Catechism and other religious know. ledge, is as much required of you by God, as to give them their moat in due season. Upon you, who are the Governors of families, the future welfare and happiness of your children and servants chiefly depend; for it they be not farnished with a competency of Christian knowledge in their early years, it is much to be feared that they will continue utterly ignorant of Religion and their duty all their days, and will carry the misamble effects of an uniostructed youth to grey hairs se on the grave. And shall these poor souls perish for luck of knowledge, and you be blameless ? Shall you uot be called to an account for this negligence and uncharita. bleness at the judgement seat of Christ, that your chil. dren and servants were ignorant a:,d you instructed them not! Know of a surety, that what God says to the careless watchman in Ezekiel, chap. iii. terses 17, 18, shall be the portion of every careless Pareri and Master of a family ; and if any soul perish through your negli gence, that soul will God require at your hands.
I shall only add here my earnest Prayers to Almighty God, who can make the meanest instrumeuts effectual to His glory, and the good of souls, that He would be pleased to give a blessing to this litt.e work, that it may be successful to the inplanting in the minds of young and ignorant persons a worthy sense of God and Religi. on, and to laying a good foundation for the Christian knowledge, that they may increase therein ever more and antil ibey come into the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven, through the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.