THE FIRST Forme of Doctrine, or the Childs Cate∣chisme.
* Unto what heads may Christian Reli∣gion be brought.
* Unto 3. 1. the sence and acknow∣ledgement of our miserable estate by nature. 2. A sight of the meanes of our delive∣rance from such a miserable estate. 3. Due gratitude, and thankefulnesse for that deli∣verance.
* How doth this miserable condition of ours appeare?
* It easily Page [unnumbered] appeares by considering 1. the estate from whence wee are fallen, even from the I∣mage of God, consisting in soundnesse of judgement, cleerenesse of understan∣ding, sanctity of will, inte∣gritie of Conscience, beau∣ty and strength of body, majesty and empire over the creatures, immortalitie, and the like: and secondly, the condition to which we are fallen, to wit, sinnefullnesse and miserie, or doing things unworthy, and suffering things worthy of our doings
* They that are sicke need the Physitian, saith our Saviour, Math. 9. 12. who then is this blessed Physitian?
* Why is it ne∣cessary he should have both a divine and humane nature united in one person?
* He must needs bee man, because di∣vine equitie requireth that the same nature that sinned should suffer, Ezech. 18. 4. and he must needs bee God, to give an infinite value to his satisfaction, proportio∣nable both to the infinite majesty offended, and the infinite sinnes and sinners offending. As also hee must be Man that he might die, and God, that he might o∣vercome death.
* It is ne∣cessary hee should bee 1. a Prophet, to illuminate us, and leade us into all truth; 2. a Priest to make satisfaction for our sinnes and to inter∣cede for us to the father; 3. a King, both to protect us, against our enemies, and to governe us by his spirit and word.
* Is this then suf∣ficient to repaire our mise∣rable condition, and to re∣estate us in that primitive happinesse, from whence wee are fallen?
* Where is the summe of the gospell best comprised?
* In that auncient and Apostolicall Creed, which begins, I be∣lieve in God the Father, &c. which Creed is the Key of faith, and Epitome of all things to be beleeved unto salvation, and which all Christians, as the badge of their professi∣on ought 1. to learne and get by heart, 2. often to repeat and professe to their com∣fort and establishment, 3. to give assent and credit to e∣very Article one by one, and lastly to apply each Ar∣ticle particularly to their Page [unnumbered] owne soules: for all these foure severall acts of Faith are implied in the word I believe.
* I pray you, if that be so auncient, so per∣fect, and so excellent an a∣bridgement of the faith, give it me not in the lumpe, but breake unto mee that bread of life into the seve∣rall pieces thereof.
* It con∣sists of 12. short Articles: the 1. concernes God the Father; the 2. the name, na∣ture, office, and person of Christ; the 3, 4, and 5. the seven degrees of his Humi∣liation for our sinnes; the 6, 7, and 8, the foure degrees of his Exaliation for our righteousnesse; the 9. con∣cernes the holy Ghost; the Page [unnumbered] 10, 11, and 12. concerne the Church of God, both in the properties and priviledges of it
* Being thus re∣stored, what owe we to God for so great a benefit?
*Thanke∣fullnesse, which consists espe∣cially in three things, first in conforming our life ac∣cording to the ten Comman∣dements of God; secondly, in calling upon his name, according to the substance of the Lords prayer; lastly in receiving and participating the Sacraments, after a prepa∣red and devout manner.
* I pray you also breake open unto mee those ten holy lawes, that I may better know how to keepe them.
* God him∣selfe Page [unnumbered] hath divided them into two tables, subdivided them into ten words, contracted them into one monosylla∣ble, Love; the first en∣joynes mee whom to wor∣ship; the second prescribes the inward manner of his worship; the third the out∣ward; the fourth the so∣lemne time; the fifth en∣joynes my duty towards my inferiours, superiours, and equalls; the sixt to my neighboursperson; the se∣venth to his chastity; the eighth, to his estate; the ninth, to his good name; the tenth and last commands me to resist the first risings, and thoughts of sin, though even without consent of will.
* But because I Page [unnumbered] am not able to keepe these things of my selfe, and that prayer is the best meanes to fetch grace and helpe from heaven, and that the Lords prayer is a perfect patterne of prayer, therefore I pray you briefely unfold that forme of prayer unto mee.
* It consists of foure distinct parts: the first is the Preface, or prepa∣ration unto the praier [Our father, which art in Heaven] the second is the sixe Petiti∣ons, whereof the three first concerne Gods glory, and the three latter our owne bodily and ghostly necessi∣ties; the third is a thankesgi∣ving, or certaine forme of praising God [for thine is the kingdome, power, and glory, for ever and ever] the fourth is Page [unnumbered] the close and scale [Amen]
* But seeing wee faile in all the former, so as our Faith is weake, our Obe∣dience is imperfect, and our praiers cold, what seales hath God given to confirme and strengthen us?
* The two Sacraments, of baptisme and the Lords supper, which through outward and visi∣ble signes doc both 1. signi∣fie, and 2. conveigh unto us most excellent inward, and spirituall graces.