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catechism, and then some larger (as Mr. Ball's, or the Assemblies, larger); and next some body of divinity, (as Amesius's Marrow of Divinity, and Cases of Conscience, which are Englished).' And let the catechism be kept in memory while you live, and the rest be throughly understood.
Direct. VII. ' Next read (to yourselves or families) the larger expositions of the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Ten Commandments. Such as Perkins, Bishop Andrews on the Commandments, and Dod, &c. That your understanding may be more full, particular, and distinct; and your families may not stop in generals, which are not understood.
Direct. viii. •Read much those books which direct you in a course of daily communion with God, and ordering all your conversations. As Mr. Reyner's Directions ;- The Practice of Piety ;--Mr. Palmer's ;-Mr. Scudder's ;-Mr. Bolton's Directions ;—and my Divine Life.
Direct. ix. For peace, and comfort, and increase of the love of God, read Mr. Symmond's Deserted Soul, &c.; —and his Life of Faith :--all Dr. Sibbs's Works ;-Mr. Harsnet's Cordials ;-Bishop Hall's Works, &c.: my Method for Peace, and Saints' Rest, &c.
Direct. x. * For the understanding of the text of Scripture, keep at hand either Deodate's, or the Assembly of Divines, or the Dutch Annotations; with Dr. Hammond's, or Dickson's and Hutchinson's brief observations.
Direct. XI. · For securing you against the fever of uncharitable zeal and schism, and contentious wranglings and cruelties for religion sake. Read diligently Bishop Hall's Peacemaker (and other of his books);-Mr. Burrough's Irenicon ;-Acontius's Stratagems of Satan ;-and my Catholic Unity ;-Catholic Church ;-Universal Concord, &c.'
Direct. x11. For establishing you against Popery, on the soundest grounds, not running in the contrary extreme; read Dr. Challoner's Credo Ecclesiam, &c.;--Chillingworth ;-Dr. Field of the Church, &c. ;-and my True Catholic ;-and my Key for Catholics ;-—and my Safe Religion ;--and Winding-sheet for Popery ;—and Disputation with Mr. Johnson.'
Direct. x111. For especial preparation for affliction, sufferings, sickness, death : read Mr. Hughes's Rod ;-Mr. Lawrence's Christ's Power over Sicknesses ;-Mr. S. Ru
therford's Letters, &c.;-my Treatise of Self-denial ;--- the Believer's Last Work ;-the Last Enemy Death ;--and the Fourth Part of my Saints' Rest. I will add no more, lest they seem too many.'
Directions for the Right Teaching of Children and Servants,
so as may be most likely to have Success. I HERE suppose them utterly untaught that you have to do with; and therefore shall direct you what to do, from the very first beginning of your teaching, and their learning. And I beseech you study this Chapter more than many of the rest; for it is an unspeakable loss that befalls the church, and the souls of men, for want of skill, and will, and diligence, in parents and masters in this matter.
Direct. 1. 'Cause your younger children to learn the words, though they be not yet capable of understanding the matter.' And do not think as some do, that this is but to make them hypocrites, and to teach them to take God's name in vain: for it is neither vanity nor hypocrisy to help them first to understand the words and signs, in order to their early understanding of the matter and signification. Otherwise no man might teach them any language, nor teach them to read any words that be good, because they must first understand the words before the meaning. child learn to read in a Bible, it is not taking God's name or Word in vain, though he understand it not: for it is in order to his learning to understand it; and it is not vain which is to so good a use: if you leave them untaught till they come to be twenty years of age, they must then learn the words before they can understand the matter. Do not therefore leave them the children of darkness, for fear of making them hypocrites. It will be an excellent way to redeem their time, to teach them first that which they are capable of learning : a child of five or six years old can learn the words of a catechism or Scripture, before they are capable of understanding them. And then when they come to years of understanding, that part of their work is done,
and they have nothing to do but to study the meaning and use of those words which they have learned already. Whereas if you leave them utterly untaught till then, they must then be wasting a long time to learn the same words which they might have learned before; and the loss of so much time is no small loss or sin.
Direct. 11. The most natural way of teaching children the meaning of God's Word, and the matters of their salvation, is by familiar talk with them suited to their capacities : begin this betimes with them while they are on their mother's laps, and use it frequently. For they are quickly capable of some understanding about greater matters as well as about less; and knowledge must come in by slow degrees : stay not till their minds are possessed with vanity and toys.
Direct. tis. By all means let your children learn to read, though you be never so poor, whatever shift you make.? And if you have servants that cannot read, let them learn yet, (at spare hours,) if they be of any capacity and willingness. For it is a very great mercy to be able to read the Holy Scripture, and any good books themselves, and a very great misery to know nothing but what they hear from others. They may read almost at any time, when they cannot hear. Direct. iv.
your children when they are little ones read much the history of the Scriptures. For though this, of itself, is not sufficient to breed in them any saving knowledge, yet it enticeth them to delight in reading the Bible, and then they will be often at it when they love it ; so that all these benefits will follow. 1. It will make them love the book (though it be but with a common love). 2. It will make them spend their time in it, when else they would rather be at play. 3. It will acquaint them with Scripture history, which will afterwards be very useful to them. 4. It will lead them up by degrees to the knowledge of the doctrine, which is all along interwoven with the history.
Direct. v. "Take heed that you turn not all your family instructions into a customary, formal course, by bare readings and repeating sermons from day to day, without familiar personal application.' For it is ordinarily seen that they will grow as sleepy, and senseless, and customary, under such a dull and distant course of duty, (though the matter be good,) almost as if you had said nothing to them. Your business therefore must be to get within them, and awaken their consciences to know that the matter doth most nearly concern them, and to force them to make application of it to themselves.
Direct. vi. • Let none affect a formal, preaching way to their families, except they be preachers themselves, or men that are able for the ministry: but rather spend the time in reading to them the most powerful books, and speaking to them more familiarly about the state and matters of their souls. Not that I think it unlawful for a man to preach to his family, in the same method that a minister doth to his people; for no doubt but he may teach them in the profitablest manner he can. And that which is the best method for a set speech in the pulpit, is usually the best method in a family. But my reasons against this preaching-way ordinarily, are these :-1. Because it is very few masters of families that are able for it, (even among them that think they are ;) and then they ignorantly abuse the Scripture, so as tends much to God's dishonour. 2. Because there is
any of them all, but may read at the same time, such lively, profitable books to their families, as handle those things which they have most need to hear of, in a far more edifying manner than they themselves are able, (except they be so poor that they can get no such books.) 3. Because the familiar way is most edifying: and to talk seriously with children and servants about the great concernments of their souls, doth commonly more move them than sermons or set speeches. Yet because there is a season for both, you may sometimes read some powerful book to them, and sometimes talk familiarly to them. 4. Because it often comes from pride, when men put their speech into a preaching method to shew their parts, and as often nourisheth pride.
Direct. vii. ' Let the manner of your teaching them be very often interlocutory, or by way of questions. Though when you have so many or such persons present, as that such familiarity is not seasonable, then reading, repeating, or set speeches may do best; but at other times, when the number or quality of the company hindereth not, you will
find that questions and familiar discourse are best. For, 1. It keepeth them awake and attentive, when they know they must make some answer to your questions, which set speeches, with the dull and sluggish, will hardly do. 2. And it mightily helpeth them in the application; so that they much more easily take it home, and perceive themselves concerned in it.
Direct. viii. . Yet prudently take heed that you speak nothing to any in the presence of others, that tends to open their ignorance or sin, or the secrets of their hearts, or that any way tendeth to shame them' (except in the necessary reproof of the obstinate). If it be their common ignorance that will be opened by questioning them, you may do it before your servants or children themselves, that are familiar with each other, but not when any strangers are present. But if it be about the secret state of their souls that
you examine them, you must do it singly, when the person is alonę. Lest shaming and troubling make them hate instruction, and deprive them of all the benefit of it.
• When you come to teach them the doc trine of religion begin with the baptismal covenant, as the sum of all that is essential to Christianity: and here teach them briefly all the substance of this at once.' For though such general knowledge will be obscure, and not distinct and satisfactory, yet it is necessary at first; because they must see truths set together: for they will understand nothing truly, if they understand it but independently by broken parts. Therefore open to them the sum of the covenant or Christian religion all at once, though you say but little at first of the several parts. Help them to understand what it is to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And here you must open it to them in this order. You must help them to know who are the covenanters, God and Man: and first the nature of man is to be opened, because he is first known, and God in him who is his image. Familiarly tell them, “ That man is not like a beast that hath no reason, nor freewill, nor any knowledge of another world, nor any other life to live but this: but he hạth an understanding to know God, and a will to choose good and refuse evil, and an immortal soul that must live for ever: and that all inferior creatures were made for his