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CONFESSION OF FAITH;
LARGER AND SHORTER CATECHISMS,
SCRIPTURE-PROOFS AT LARGE,
THE SUM OF SAVING KNOWLEDGE,
(CONTAINED IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, AND HELD FORTH IN THE SAID CONFESSION
AND CATECHISMS) AND PRACTICAL USE THEREOF ;
COVENANTS, NATIONAL AND SOLEMN
MENT TO DUTIES;
FORM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT, &c.
MENT, RELATIVE TO, AND APPROBATIVE
Deut. vi. 6, 7. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when
Late Printers to the Queen's most Excellent Majesty.
In terms of Her Majesty's Letters Patent -to Her Printers for Scotland, and of the Instructions issued by Her Majesty in Council, dated Eleventh July One thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, I hereby License and Authorize Sir David Hunter Blair and Mrs Margaret Stuart Tyndall Bruce, late Printers to the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, to Print, within the Premises situated in Blair Street, in the city of Edinburgh... belonging to them, and to Publish, as by the authority of Her Majesty, an Edition of the Confession of Faith, in Duodecimo Minion Brevier, consisting of Twelve thousand copies, as proposed in their Declaration, dated the Twentieth day of October Eighteen hundred and forty-five years; the Terms and Conditions of the said Instructions being always, and in all points, fully complied with Jand observed by the said Sir David Hunter Blair and Mrs Margaret Stuart Tyndall Bruce.
DUN. M'NEILL. Edinburgh, 83d Or 1845. *
S we cannot but with grief of soul lament those multitudes of
I errors, blasphemies, and all kinds of profaneness, which have in this last age, like a mighty deluge, overflown this nation ; so, among several other sins which have helped to open the flood-gates of all these impieties, we cannot but esteem the disuse of family instruction one of the greatest. The two great pillars upon which the kingdont of Satan is erected, and by which it is upheld, are ignorance and error; the first step of our manumission from this spiritual thraldom consists in having our eyes opened, and being turned from darkness to light, Aets xxvi. 18. How inuch the serious endeavours of godly parents and masters might contribute to an early seasoning the tender years of such as are under their inspection, is abundantly evident, not only from their special influence upon them, in' respect of their authority over them, interest in them, continual presence with them, and frequent opportunities of being helpful to them'; but also from the sad effects which, by woeful experience, we find to be the fruit of the omission of this duty. It were easy to set before you a cloud of witnesses, the language of whose practice hath been not only an eminent commendation of this duty, but also a serious exhortation to it. As Abel, though dead, yet speaks by his example to us for imitation of his faith, &c. Heb. xi. 4.; so do the examples of Abraham, of Joshua, of the parents of Solomon, of the grandmother and mother of Timothy, the mother of Augustine, whose care was as well to nurse up the souls as the bodies of their little ones; and as their pains herein was great, so was their success no way unanswerable.
We should scarce imagine it any better than an impertinency, in this noon-day of the gospel, either to inform or persuade in a duty so expressly commanded, so frequently urged, so highly encouraged, and so eminently owned by the Lord in all ages with his blessing, but that our sad experience tells us, this duty is not more needful, than it is of late neglected. For the restoring of this duty to its due observance, give us leave to suggest this double advice.
The first concerns heads of families in respect of themselves'; That as the Lord hath set them in place above the rest of their family, they would labour in all wisdom and spiritual understanding to be above them also. It is an uncomely sight to behold men in year babes in knowledge ; and how urmeet are they to instruct others
who need themselves to be taught which be the first principles of the bracles of God? Heb: "12:WKnowledge istan'accomplishment
so desirable, that the devils themselves knew
mot a more taking
bait by whichi to tempt bur fiests parents, than by the fruit of the tree of knowledgers so ghalh you becas gods, knowing good and ievits When Solomon had that favour showed him of the Lord, that he was made his own chuser what to ask, he knew no greater mercy to beg than wisdom 1 Kings ili 6,9. The understanding is the guide and pilot of the whole mán, that faculty, which sits at the stern of the soul's but as the most expert guide mày mistake in the dark, so may the understanding, when it wants the light of knowledge: Wiikout know ledge the mind cannot be good, Provu xix 2s, nor the life good, nor the eternal condition safe, Ephesiv.218., My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hos: iv. 6. It is ordinary in scripture to bet profaneness, and all kind of miscarriages, upon the score of ignorance.' Diseases in the body
have many times their rise from distempers in the head, and exorbitancies'in praetice from terrors in judgment and indeed in every sin there is something both of ighorance and error at the bottomotfor, did sinuers truly know what they do in sinning, we might say of every sins what the Apostle (speaks concerning that great sin, Had they known him, they would not harde: crucified the Lord of glony did they truly know that every sin disa provoking the bord to jealousy, a proclaäning war against Heaven, d orucifying the Lord Jesus afresh, a treasuring cuplwrath unto themselves against the day of wrath and that, if eyer they bę pardoned, it hast bel at no lower a rate than the price of his blood g'iț were scarce possible but sin, in stead of alluring, should affright, and instead of tempting, scareialt is one of the arch devices and principal methods of Satanotor deceive men into sin : thus he prevailed against our first parents;- not as a lion, but as a serpent, acting his eömity under a pretende of friend. ship, and tempting them to evil under an appearance of good ; iand thus hath he all along carried on his designs of darkness, vbyr transforming himself iņto
an angel of light, making poorideceived men in love with theiy miseries, and hugotheir own destructionA most sovereign antidote against all kind of errors, isoto bergrounded and settled in the faith. persons unfixed in the true religion, are very receptive of a false ; and they who are nothing in spiritual knowledger are easily made any thing Clouds withouk water and drivens taland fra with every wind and ships without ballast. liable to the violence of every tempestro But yet the knowledge we especially commend, is not a brain knowledge, a mare speculation is this may be in the worst of men, uay, in the worst of creatures, the devils themselves, and that in such
an emineney, as the best of saints cannot attain to in this lite of imperfection z but an inward, à savoury, an heart knowledge such as was in that martyr, who, though she could not dispute for Christe could die for him. This is that spiritualisense and feeling iof divine truths the Apostle speaks i of, HebsuV4. cHeving ýerin kensks ever ejsed, &00) les of Jain Voigetib 26 zid to 1971Ta jout en bilgust 1, Buts alas,/ wa may say of most mens religion what i learned i Rivet speaks concerning the errors of the fathers, they were not so much * their own errors, as the prrors of thes,times wherein they lixed Thus de most men take up their greligion napon no better an account than Turks and Papists take up theirby because rith is the religion of the times and places wherein they liver; and what ithey take up thus bomini bus modi te sitod tiregni bar gun1891 J1913bui Tiit
• Rivet, Crit. Sacr,
THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.
5 missity 125 30 35 400 SU 0 Mont un slightly, they day down as easily . Whereas an inward, taste and relish of the things of God, is an excellent preservative to keep us settled in the most unsettled timest Corrupt and unsayoyry princi. ples have great advantage upon us, above those that are spiritual and soupd; the forser being suitable to corrupt nature, the latter contraryi; the former springing up of themselves, the latter brought forth not without a painful industry. The ground needs in other midwifery in bringing forth weeds than only the neglect of the husbandman's handito pluck them up; the air needs no other cause of darkness than the absence of the sun, nor water of coldness than its distance from the fire ; because these are the genuine products of Dadure Were it so with the soul, (as some of the philosophers have vainly imagined,) to come into the world as an abrasa tabula, a mere blank or piece of white paper, on which neither any thing is written, for any blots, it would then be equally receptive of good and evil, and no more averse to the one than to the other: but how much, worse its condition indeed is, were scriptore silent, every man's experience doesrévidently manifesten For who is there that knows any thing of his own heart, and knows not thus much, that the suggestions of Satan: bave so easy and free admittance into our hearts, that our titanost matchfulness is too little to guard us from them whereas the motions of God's Spirit are so umacceptable to us, that our ptmost diligence is too little to get our hearts open to entertain them. Let therefore the excellençý, necessity, difficulty of true wisdom stir nupi endeavouvściæ you somewhat proportionable to such an accom, plishment; Aboue all getting, get understanding, Prov. iv. 7. and search for wisdom as for hidden treasures, Prov. iii 4. It much concerns you in respect of yourselvesá s ro teniso batissi!! ati oni - 1 Our second advice concerns heads of families, in respect of their every private Christian that hath a soul to look after yet uponas double account, itoooncerns parents and masters, as having themselves and others to look after's some there are, who, because of their ignorance cannot o othersy because of their sluggishness, will not mind this dutya - To the former we propound the inethod of Joshua, who first began with himself, and then is careful of his family. To the latter we shall only hint, what a dreadful meeting those parents and mastersinust have at that great day, with their children and servants, when all that were under their inspection shall not only aecuse them, but charge their eternal miscarrying upon their score."
Never did any age of the Church tenjoyt such choice helps as this of iours: Every age of the gospel hath had its Creeds, Confessions, Catechisms, and such ibreviaries and models of divinity as have been singularłyt usefulib Such forms of sound words (however in these daysidecriedj have been in use in the Church over sinoe God himself wrote thesDecaloguesadda-summary of things to be done; and Christ taught us that prayer of his, as a directory what to ask. Concerning thte visefulness of such compendiary systems, so much hath been said alsead yaby a dearned diviner of this age, as is sufficient ito satisfy all Wonile pottresolved to remain unsatisfied. Ont a TOTO MWO TIST : JIoncerningother particular excellency of these ensuing treatises, We judge it adneedfub to mention those eminenti testimonies whichi have been given them from persons of knowi wonth, An-respeed
of their judgment, learning, and integrity, both at home and abroad,