The Key of Knowledge.
which is, A little booke intended to bee of good use, as for all degrees of Chri∣stians, so especially for Religi∣ous Families, and Reli∣gious Schooles.
The full use and contents whereof must be enquired in the Preface or introdu∣ction to the worke which is (first) deliberately to be read of those who desire to receive pro∣fit by the Booke.
By JOHN JACKSON, Rector of Marsk neere Richmond in York-shire.
Acts. 17. 23. As I passed by and beheld your Devotions, I found an Altar with this Inscription, To the unknowne God: Whom therefore yee ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
John 17. 3. This is lefe eternall, to know thee to bee that onely true God, and him whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ.
LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kingston for Ro∣bert Milbourne, and are to be sold at the signe of the holy Lambe in little Brittaine, neere S. Butolphs Church. 1640.
TO THE WOR∣shipfull, and his ever honoured friends, the whole po∣sterity of his worthy Patron, Sir Timothy Hutton deceased, both to his Sonnes with their wives and Children, and to his Daughters with their husbands and children: namely, Mathew Hutton of Marsk. Esquire, Iustice of peace; Iames Maulleverer of Arncliffe Esquire; Iohn Dodsworth of Thornton-watlasse, Esquire, Iustice of peace: Edmund Cleburne of Cleburne, Esquire; Mr Timothy Hutton; Mr Philip Hutton decea∣sed his relict and issue; Mr Iohn Hutton; and Mr Thomas Hutton, Peace &c.
THis little fol∣lowing book had beene in the Printers Page [unnumbered] hands diverse daies ere ever I purposed any nuncupation, or dedi∣cation of it at all. At last, it came into my minde to addresse it this way, and that for these causes. first, out of honour to your chiefe, Arch-Bishop Hutton, of whom for his learning, and gravitie, this great Encomium was pub∣liquely given, that hee was worthy to sit Presi∣dent in a generall Coun∣cell. Secondly, because I was well ascertained, my book could receive Page [unnumbered] no smut from you, be∣ing people of whole fame for native gentle∣nesse, innocency of manners, faire deport∣ment, and for the con∣stant and uniforme pro∣fession of Religion. Thirdly, for that the most of you are spread into a goodly posterity and have faire sonnes and daughters, unto whom these things may bee truely usefull to ground them soundly in Religion, so as nei∣ther Abundance can choake, nor IndigencePage [unnumbered] ever starve in them those due respects they owe to divine powers. Would God parents would at last be wise, and thinke it were conduceable to the hopefull setling of a child, to aime at more of instruction and in∣stitution, though lesse of provision. Fourthly, in acknowledgement of that great love, sweet fa∣miliarity, and continuall intercourses of Christi∣an acquaintance which you were ever pleased to hold with mee, both affecting my person, Page [unnumbered] and leaning to my mi∣nistery farre beyond the proportion of de∣sert. Lastly, and espe∣cially for the pious me∣mory of that worthy Knight Sir Timothy Hut∣ton, your deare Father, and my most incorrupt Patron. Into the menti∣on of whom being fal∣len, I cannot containe my pen, but to his great praise I must relate one or two things of him in this very regard: first that comming to settle his family at Marske, and finding the RectorPage [unnumbered] there to be no more but a bare reader, he rested not till hee had com∣pounded forth the pre∣sent incumbent, and fil∣led the Church with a preaching Ministery. And when it was empty againe by the death of that incumbent, he most freely presented my selfe with out the least request made in my behalfe to him, either by my selfe, or any other; yea hee besought mee earnestly to take it, and when he signed the presentation he drew with his pen the Page [unnumbered] forme of his heart be∣tweene his name and sir-name. and I can well take an accompt of my memory, that the Bpp of the diocesse, when he gave institution, asser∣ted vehemently that I had the best and most upright Patron living. This I say not onely for his honour, but also for the just defamation both of such Patrons (sonnes of the earth whosoever they be) as thinke hea∣ven and earth would faile them for mainte∣nance and support, if Page [unnumbered] they should present a Father and Priest with∣out some sprinckling either of direct or indi∣rect symonie: and also of such Clerkes as pro∣fesse they believe the re∣surrection of their bo∣dies after they are cal∣cined to dust, and yet dare not trust God for food and raiment, with∣out these indirect and symoniacall contracts. But I containe.
These things there∣fore (my much honou∣red, and most deerely respected friends) I pre∣sent Page [unnumbered] unto you, and to∣gether with them what∣soever is worth accep∣tance either in the per∣son or function of
Your most affectionate friend, and Servant in the things of Iesus Christ. IOHN IACKSON.
THE INTRO∣DUCTION, OR PRE∣face necessary to bee read by the Peruser of this Booke.
THe designe, and end which the Author hath in publi∣shing these few sheets of Paper, shall be made knowne unto thee in a few following Paragraphs.
First, Being a man full of lei∣sure, hee thought they might [ I] (through Gods blessing) prove a few well spent houres to compose some little Theologicall tractate, or manuall of Devotion, which might be truly usefull to militant Christians, either to beget, or pre∣serve Religion in their hearts. Wherein he had a speciall aime to serve the Salvation of two sorts of people: first, of his Parcchiall charge, or the slocke whereof hee is made an Over-seer; Secondly, Page [unnumbered] of such Christian friends and ac∣quaintance (of what degree soever) dispersed here and there, as did more peculiarly love his person, or approve his work in the ministery thinking he might take more liber∣ty and boldnesse of speech to speake unto every of them in the lan∣guage of Saint Paul to his Schol∣ler Timothy: Thou hast fully knowne my doctrine: continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast beene assu∣red of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 2 Tim. 3.
[ II] 2. His Second thoughts were, in so doing to practise selfe-deni∣all, in meerely serving Vertue, and not fame; and not to theame his pen with some high and applau∣ded subiect, but to apply him∣selfe to what should bee I. most plaine and easie for the understan∣ding. 2 most short and contracted for the memory. 3 most methodi∣call and disposed, to take the fan∣cy. 4. Serious and weighty, to Page [unnumbered] worke on the Conscience, and la∣stly usefull and practicall in re∣gard of the will and affections, that thus it might have a kindly working on all the severall pow∣ers and faculties of the Soule.
Thirdly, Hereupon hee resol∣ved [ III] to draw and pourtray the whole entire body of divioitie com∣monly called The revealed will of God, and cast it into little moulds or formes, as Alexander did all Homers Iliads into a nut-shell, and as Regiomontanus did his exquisite motions into the little body of a flie, yet so as he endeavoured to free it from those two monstrosities both of Nature and Art, Defect of any thing necessary on the one hand, and redundancie or excesse of any thing superfluous on the other.
Fourthly, Hee acquired and [ IIII] looked into most of all the fa∣mous and notorious institutions of Religion, Systemes of Divinitie Common places, Theologicall the∣ses, Catechismes both of topi∣call Page [unnumbered] Churches, and particular men, famed all over the Christian world, and cried up to be Orthodox, me∣thodicall and receaved, that at least observing the Oeconomie and fabricke of every one, and how the same truths did concurre in a di∣verse method and order of han∣dling, there might out of all of them together compared and col∣lated result and arise what the Author heereof doth now in these ensuing Schedules present.
[ V] Fifthly, But then considering that there is the same danger in a spirituall flocke as was in Jacobs, Gen. 33. 13. the ghostly guide may over-drive the Children that are tender, and the heards that are with young, whereas to lead on softly, is safe; and consi∣dering againe that there are three sorts, or rather degrees in Religi∣on, First, Beginners or probatio∣ners, Secondly, Proficients, or growers, and lastly growne and full statured Christians, Ephesi∣ans Page [unnumbered] 4. 11, who may challenge the brave title and clogy of Mnason, Act 21, 16, an old disciple: yea that the Scripture it selfe allow∣eth, and beareth up this distincti∣on in two severall texts, both 1 Ioh. Epist. chap. 2. verse 13. under the titles of1Children,2 Young men, and3 Fathers; and also Marke 4. 28. under the tearmes of1 the blade,2 the Eare,3 the ripe corne in the eare: Hereupon the Author hath endeavoured to make sacred Divinitie hold proportion with the severall strengths and capabilities of Christians, casting it into three severall moulds or formes: The first of 12 Queries and Responses, according to the number of the howers of the day, or moneths of the Yeere, intended to bee the Childs Divinitie. the second of 31. after the number of daies in the moneth, which is the young mans Divinitie. The third into 52. as there are weekes in the yeere, which you may call the old Page [unnumbered] mans Divinitie, as the severall Title-pages preceding each tra∣ctate will more fully declare.
[ VI] Sixtly, and Lastly, whereas the worthy addressing of a mans selfe to the Lords table, to receive the blessed Sacrament of the body and bloud of Christ is, and hath ever beene esteemed an high piece of Pietie, and one of the most eminent performances which a militant Christian can goe about, as being one of the neerest approaches wee can make to God: therefore as a Coronis to the rest, here is anne∣xed an Alphabet, or Abecedary tractate concerning the Lords sup∣per, and our profitable comming thereunto, as the frontispice-lease thereof doth shew.
And this is all the Author hath to say anent this little worke and his intent in publishing of it. There yet remaines something to be ad¦ded touching the right use thereof, in the behalfe of the usufructuary, or whosoever hands these treatises Page [unnumbered] may fall into: in which regard the Authour proposeth these Counsels and Advertisements.
First, Hee adviseth that by all meanes the chiefes and superin∣tendents of families, and schooles who are both Priests and Princes within their owne sept and verge, see that those who are under their goverment bee initiated and instru∣cted in the principles of Religion, whilst they are yet of very tender yeares. for it is scarce to be credi∣ted, if experience did not ascertaine the truth thereof, either how inept and indisposed unto divine know∣ledge such are, as are stept into yeeres, and having first filled their heads, and bardened their hearts with worldly-mindednesse have thereby prevented, aud praeoccu∣pated the enterance of the things of God: or on the other hand how naturally and sweetly Catechisme is sucked in with the Mothers milke, rocked in with the Nurse,asported in with play-fellowes, Page [unnumbered]hired in with nuts and apples, awed in with the twig of a rod, &c. which howsoever at first in them it may be no more oft times than the bare letter, orbforme of knowledge, yet by the Spirits worke ere long may bee improved unto Saving knowledge. This those worthy auncient Christians knew well,c who taught their infants first to loose their tongues into the articu∣late, and syllabicall pronunciati∣on of the word Hallelujah. And surely it's as easie to teach Chil∣dren to say Hosanna to Christ,* as bald-pate to Elisha. Aristotle pro∣veth the sweetnesse of knowledge by this, that the mouths of Chil∣dren are so full of questions: and there is this reason further in Di∣vinitie, that those who are yet in∣nocent as doves, shall receive such irradiation of divine light from God, as to bee wise as Serpents, and those whose wills doe cleave unto good, their understanding shall approach unto Truth.
Page [unnumbered] 2. The second Advertisement is this, that the Catechist, that is, hee, or shee, who takes upon them the office to instruct, and Cate∣chize others, stand in some faire and neere relation to the Catechu∣menoi, that is, those who are taught and instructed: by which meanes it comes to passe that their principles are more authentick, authoritative and magisteriall, and the doctrine which they instill, proves both more strong, by reason of the cre∣dit of a Superiour, and more sweet, by reason of the love of a familiar. Oh then documents sticke, when wee can say, I know of whom I have learned them. Then rudiments and grounds are indeed Nailes to fasten in the memory, and goads to pricke on the Affections, Eccles. 12. 11. Thus Samuel was instructed by Eli, and young Jehoash by Jeho∣jadah, both Priests; the great Eunuch by Philip, a Deacon; Paul by his tutour Gamaliel; Ti∣mothyPage [unnumbered] by his mother, and Grand∣mother, Lois and Eunice; Ori∣gen by his father Leonides; Gor∣gonia by her brother Nazianzene; Saint Basil by his nurse Macri∣na; and Saint Hierom comman∣ded the Lady Paula to set her maids to learne the Scriptures. Neither ought any one thinke they lesson themselves unto any low indecencies in playing the duty of a Catechist towards their No∣vices; whilst they see whole Chur∣ches, Counsels both nationall and oecumenicall, particular men of signall note and fame, such as Lu∣ther, and Calvin, calling off their pennes from learned Commenta∣ries, positive Divinitie, polemicall disputes, exquisite Sermons, and the like, even to write Cate∣chismes by way of question and answer. Yea how many fathers are there both of the Greeke and La∣tine Church which have their pe∣culiar dforme of doctrine, orehy∣potyposis of wholsome words? Page [unnumbered] Clemens of Alexandira his Pae∣dagogue; Cyrill of Jerusalem his Catechisme, Origen that famous Catechist his bookes of principles, Theodoret his Epitome of divine precepts, Lactantius his instituti∣ons, Augustine his encheiridion, &c. Neither could it bee credi∣ted, if the voucher were not histo∣ries of singular esteeme, how emi∣nent persons for learning, vertue, and honour have descended even unto the practiques herein, one I cannot omit: Saint Hierom, for learning so great a Clerke, as S. Augustine seriously wished to e∣quallize him, for sanctity so rare, as it is farre more easy to counter∣feit him then imitate him: hee ha¦ving exhorted Leta to send her daughter to her Grandmother Paula at Bethleem, to be educated there, addes certaine words, wher∣by hee binds himselfe to become master and Catechist to the child, saying hee will carry her upon his armes, and on his shoulders, and Page [unnumbered] that as old as hee was, hee would teach her stammeringly to pro∣nounce her words, and that in this regard hee would not esteeme him∣selfe lesse glorious then Aristotle, who had Alexander the sonne of Philip, King of Macedon for his Scholler, &c.
3. The third Advertisement must be this, that the disciple or scholler be throughly acquainted by his Catechist and instructer with the Scheme and method of his in∣stitution or Catechisme, for as in reading of holy Scripture, who so meanes to understand what hee reades, must labour to get into his head the structure and fabricke, that is, the Oeconomie, and or∣der of that booke of holy writ, that he is reading: So whosoever would bee fully instructed in Christian Religion, must first get unto him∣selfe a perfect and methodicall forme of sound doctrine, and then before he goe to particulars, must possesse his understanding of the Page [unnumbered] generall lineaments and portrai∣ture of that body of Divinitie, which hee meanes to make his com∣passe for his knowledge to saile by. To instance in these subsequent moulds and formes of Divinitie. The oeconomie and disposition of the first stands in the unfolding of three points, 1. Mans misery by [ I] the fall. 2. His redresse from that misery. 3. His thankeful∣nesse for that redresse: which is also the manner and forme both of the Heidelberge Catechisme, au∣thorized through all the low Coun∣tries, and the Palatinate, and al∣so of Alstedius his Catechisme which hee calls the little bible, and the very same is the oeconomie of the Epistle to the Romans, which is called the fKey of scripture.* The Oeconomie of the second is this, it takes the first hint and rise from [ II] Saint Pauls dichotomie, Titus 1. 1. which distinguisheth Religion intogTruth, and Godlinesse, un∣der the first head of truth is ope∣ned Page [unnumbered] and explained the Apostles Creed, and under Godlinesse the second head is handled the Com∣mandements, the Lords prayer, and the doctrine of the Sacra∣ments. [ III] The third is of a circular forme, like a snake holding the taile in the mouth: of which forme also are divers of Davids Psalmes which are called circular Odes, as Psalm. 8. and 117. and the five last Psalmes. Enterance is made into it by the very same quere that Calvin doth into his so famous Ca∣techisme, that it is translated into all the 3. learned Languages, La∣tine, Greeke, and Hebrew; and from thence, like the river of E∣den, Gen. 2. 10. it spreads it selfe into 4 heads, the first of Faith, or thinges to bee beleeved, the se∣cond of Love, or thinges to bee done, The third of Prayer, or things to be asked, and the fourth of the Sacraments, or thinges to be sealed: and this is the Oeconomie of Canisius, and Bellarmines Ca∣echismes, Page [unnumbered] &c. And to adde a [ IIII] word touching the mode and forme of the last tractate, concerning the holy Eucharist and the communi∣cants worthy receiving of it, it's method is pure Scripturall, for who so hath but saluted the holy ori∣giuall tongue of the old Testament knowes thath Ieremies Threnes and idiverse of Davids Psalmes are Alphabeticall, and thatk to this end and purpose, to helpe memory both to attaine and retaine them with greater ease and lesse industry. And beside the authority of Scrip∣ture to warrant this way of com∣posing;l Ecclesiasticall History makes mention of an Abecedary Psalme, which Saint Augustine so made up against the Donatists.
The 4. and last advertisement is this, that to make a brave know∣ing and intellectuall Christian in∣deed, the way is, to referre the Scrip∣ture which he reads, and the Ser¦mons he heares, unto those heads and points of Catechisme, where∣unto Page [unnumbered] they specially and most pro∣perly belong. And to doe this the better, learners and beginners are not onely to make use of their owne dexterity and skill so farre as they are able, but also till they be well versed in this way, consult with their Superiours and teach∣ers, get them to looke over them while they practise, intreat them freely to use their asteriskes of approbation where they hit, and their spunges and obeliskes where they misse. The benefit redounding hence will be this, First, an ad∣mirable establishment and confir∣mation of the truth to see ser∣mons, bookes, Scriptures, &c. all to concurre and be concentrique to∣gether. Secondly, an excellent in∣geny and quicknesse both in pro∣ving the principles and fundamen∣tals of Religion by Scripture, and in referring texts of Scripture, and Sermons to principles of Cate∣chisme, which may bee called the Genesis and Analysis of Divinity. Page [unnumbered] And I doubt not but by practise a Lay Christian may doe as much as Cartwright,* who hath referred every Proverbe of Solomon to one of the ten Precepts of the morall Law.
The Author now thinkes hee hath prefaced sufficiently, and will remove manum de tabula as speedily as if hee heard an Angell from Heaven say, hold thy hand, it is enough; in all which if hee have iudged any thing truly, or wisely hee voweth onely to wor∣ship him who is the first truth, and chiefest wisdome.
Now the good will of him that dwelt in the bush be with all those who desire to know the first truth, and enioy the chiefe good; and to that end blesse this small labour in his Church, if it be but to the di∣spelling of ignorance and darke∣nesse from off one Soule, of which the Author is the more hopefull, as being conscions that he hath no other ayme in the Edition hereof Page [unnumbered] save those two intimated in the first Paragraph of the Preface, to wit, to bee a tribute of duty to some, and a present of affection to others.
A MOST BRIEFE and contracted modell of know∣ledge, and yet withall plaine for the understanding, and methodicall for the Memory.
Wherein whatsoever is truely fundamentall in Christian religion, and absolutely necessary to salvation, is brought downe unto onely 12. Que∣stions and Answers, so as such Chil∣dren as are very pregnant, and of riper yeares may come to be well catechised in one day, by proportioning one question and answere to every hower of the day, and such as are more young for yeares, or dull for capacitie, in one yeare if their Parents or nurses (as it were playing, or doing another thing) doe but principle them with one que∣stion and answer eve∣ry Moneth
- 1 Timothy, learning the holy Scrip∣tures from a child, 2 Tim. 3. 15.
- 2 Lois the grand-mother, and Eu∣nice the mother, being the In∣structors, 2 Tim. 1. 5.
1 Iohn 2. 13. I write unto you little Children.
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.
A BRIEFE, METHODICALL, plaine, and full forme of doctrine, reduced unto xxxi Questions and Answeres: so as by learning one onely Question and it's Answer every day, the Christi∣an Scholler shall within the space of one Moneth bee well principled in Re∣ligion.
- Paul, the Que∣stionist,
- Acts. 22. 3,
1. Iohn 2. 13. I write unto you Young men.
THE SECOND Forme of Doctrine, or the young mans Cate∣chisme.
* What is Ca∣techisme, & wher∣unto may it bee compared?
* It cannot bet∣ter bee defined then out of Heb. 6. 1. The principles of the doctrine of Christ: and it may be fitly compared to Samp∣sons haire, wherein was both strength and beauty, for so ought catechisme be strong in precepts, beautifull in or∣der and method.
* What is Christian doctrine usually called, and how may it be defined?
* How many parts are there then of Religion?
* Two, which Saint Paul Titus 1. verse 1. calls TRVTH, and GODLI∣NES, and they are the two pillars or supporters of Gods house, the shaking of either of which ruines the building.
* Where may bee found united, and gathered together those principall and fundamentall Truths, which a Christian is to be∣lieve to salvation.
* Which is the grand truth wee are to embrace concerning God?
* That in regard of nature, essence, and being there is but one God, yet in regard of divine relation, and reall respects, in that one Godhead there are three persons.
* Describe mee the nature and essence of God, so farre as he may (as it were through a glasse) he seene, and comprehended of our weake capacities.
* God is that most absolute, and first being, whose proper Attributes are, 1 Simplicitie, 2 Eterni∣tie, 3 Immensitie, 4 Perfecti∣on, 5 Immutability, 6 Immor∣tality, Page [unnumbered]7 Goodnesse,8 Justice, 9 Truth,10 Holinesse,11 Om∣nipotency, 12 liberty or free∣dome, and lastly, glory and majestie.
* What now is that you call a person of the God-head?
* It is a relation or respect, which taketh no∣thing from, nor addeth any thing to the divine essence, but onely distinguisheth the Father, Son, and holy Ghost among themselves, and one from another, every one of them having both his in∣communicable propriety, or nature, and every one of them having his owne in∣communicable worke, or Counsell.
* To beget, and not be begotten.
* What is the Fathers proper and incommunica∣ble worke or counsell?
*Creation, for by his Almighty power in ma∣king heaven and earth, hee cast out vacuitie and empti∣nesse, that great enemy of nature, and by his provi∣dence, which is a continued creation, hee keepeth it out still.
* Which is the pe∣culiar property of the sonne who is the second person in order, and manner of subsi∣stence?
* His relative pro∣pertie is to be begotten.
*Redemption, which is a stisfaction made to the justice of God for the sinne of man: in which re∣gard, he hath 4. stiles in the Creed, 1. Iesus to note his office of mediatorship in ge∣nerall, 2. Christ, to denote his three particular offices, sacerdotall, propheticall, and royall, 3. Sonne, to note his order and manner of subsi∣stence, fourthly and lastly, Lord, to note his purchase.
* How is our Re∣demption wrought?
* Partly by the Hu∣miliation, and partly by the Exaltation of the sonne of God, the severall degrees of which twaine are accu∣rately and punctually folded up in the very body of the Page [unnumbered] said Creed, &c.
* Which bee the se∣verall degrees of his Humi∣lation?
* They bee sixe in number, and are thus to bee enumerated in order, 1. his Conception [hee was conceived by the holy Ghost] 2. his nati∣vity [borne of the Virgin Ma∣ry] 3. his passion [suffered un∣der Pontius Pilate] 4. his cru∣cifixion, which was the ex∣tremity of his passion [was crucified] 5. his death [dead] 6. his buriall [and buried] through all which severall degrees of sorrow he passed, and was pressed with them as a cart with sheaves, that he might beare our sinnes, and heale our infirmities.
* Which be the se∣verall degrees of his Exal∣tation?
* They be five in number, and are thus to bee reckoned; 1. his triumph o∣ver Hell [hee descended into hell] 2. his Resurrection [hee rose againe the third day] 3. his Ascention [hee ascended into heaven] 4. his session at his Fathers right hand [there he sits at the right hand of God] 5. his office of judicature [from thence hee shall come to judge both the quicke and the dead]
* What is the rela∣tive property of the Holy Ghost, the third person in manner of subsisting?
* To proceed.
* What is his proper worke?
*Sanctification, or application, for Christ ha∣ving prepared the remedie Page [unnumbered] leaves it to bee applied by the sanctification of his spi∣rit, and as hee justifies us by his merit, so hee sanctifies us by his Spirit.
* Having seene those fundamentall truths which concerne God, and being now come to those which concerne the Church of God, tell mee what a Christian is bound to beleeve concer∣ning the Church?
* That it is a com∣pany of beleevers united to Christ by faith here, and by vision hereafter: and that the said company is inve∣sted with a double property, to wit, first, it is holy in re∣gard of the holinesse both of the outward meanes, and inward worke of the Spirit: and secondly it is CatholiquePage [unnumbered] and universall in regard both of time, persons, and pla∣ces.
* What are the be∣nefits which arise to us from our being members of this holy Catholike Church?
* Foure, two where∣of accrew in this life, to wit first, Communion of Saints, that is, that fellowship wee have both with Christ, and all his members, in grace, and glory; secondly, Remis∣sion of sinnes, both incove∣ring and curing them: and other two in the life to come, first Resnrrection of the body, when that which is sowne in corruption riseth againe in incorruption; se∣condly, Life everlasting, when there shall be a neces∣sary absence of all evill, and Page [unnumbered] a necessary presence of all good.
* Having learned the TRVTH of Religion, I desire now to goe on to the second part, the GODLI∣NESSE of it, tell mee first therefore I pray you, how it may best be divided.
* Into three heads, first, our walking with God, in holy obedience, accor∣ding to the ten precepts of the decalogue. Secondly, our Talking with him in de∣vout prayer, according to the seven petitions of the Lords prayer. Thirdly; our Receiving from him in the two Sacraments of the new Testament.
* How is our wal∣king with God according to the Law distributed?
* Either into Holi∣nesse, which is our immedi∣ate worship of God requi∣red in the first table of the law, or into Righteousnesse, whereby God is mediately served through the love to our neighbour, as is requi∣red in the latter table.
* On how many feet stands the first table of the Law, which concernes our duty towards God?
* On foure;for it enjoyneth 1. that wee place and bestow divine worship on none, but the onely true God, choosing him to be our Jehovah, and to set our heart upon. Precept 1. 2. that we worship him with his owne prescribed worship, and not after our owne Imaginati∣ons or devices, Precept 2. 3. Page [unnumbered] that wee shew him due ex∣ternall reverence also, in transacting his worship and service, Precept 3. 4. in re∣gard of the time, that wee performe it especially, and more solemnely on the Lords day, Precept 4.
* On how many feet doth the second table stand, which concernes our duty to man?
* On sixe, for it enjoyneth, 1. that wee be diligent in all offices, and duties towards our superi∣ours, inferiours, and equals, Precept 5. 2. that wee pre∣serve life and health, both of our selves, and our neigh∣bour, to Gods glory, and the good both of Church and Common-weale, Pre∣cept 6. 3. that wee preserve Page [unnumbered] and keepe both inward cha∣stity of heart, and the out∣ward of the body, Precept 7. 4. that wee preserve the e∣state and livelyhood both of our selves and neighbour, to our owne comfort, and the good of others, Precept 8. 5. that wee beare up, and maintaine our owne and o∣thers fame and credit, ac∣compting it as a precious ointment, Precept 9. Lastly, that we resist and suppresse in the first risings thereof, all concupiscence, and evill motions, though they bee before consent of will, Pre∣cept 10.
* Tell me now what prayer, or holy talking with God is, which was propo∣sed to be the second part of Godlinesse?
* It is a moving of God the father,in the name of his Sonne, by the power of his holy Spirit, for such things as are agreeable to his will! the best president and platforme whereof is the Lords prayer.
* How is this prayer divided?
* Into 4. parts, 1. the preface or preparation to prayer, Our Father which art in heauen. 2. the petitions or things asked, Hallowed be &c. 3. the doxologie, or thanksgiving, for thine is &c. 4. the seale, or conclusion, Amen.
* The petitions be∣ing the chiefe part,how ma∣ny are they in number, and how are they to be divided?
* How doe you sub∣divide those 3.first which concerne God?
* They either con∣cerne his glory (1 Petition) where we pray that his name (which is himselfe) may be magnified, and hallowed: or else they concerne the meanes of his glory (Petiti∣on 2 and 3) where wee pray for the comming of his King∣dome, both of power, grace, and glory, and for the doing of his will, both by us in active obedience, and upon us in passive.
* They are either such as concerne this life, (petit. 4.) as the asking of daily bread, under which is comprehended all thinges necessary for our naturall life: or else they concerne the life to come, as the as∣king remission of sinnes, in re∣gard of what is past (petit. 5.) and deliverance of temptation, and the evill thereof, in re∣gard of what is to come (pe∣tition 6.)
* Wee are now come to the third and last piece of Pietie, the receiving the Sa∣craments, tell mee therefore what a Sacrament is, and how many there bee?
* A Sacrament can∣not Page [unnumbered] better bee defined, then out of Romans 4. and 11. a seale of the righteousnesse by Faith: of which there are onely two, properly so cal∣led, Baptisme, and the Lords Supper.
* What is Baptisme?
* A Sacrament of entring us into Christianitie or of engrafting us into Christ, consisting of the out∣ward signe, which is dip∣ping in, or sprinckling with water; and of the inward grace, which is washing a∣way of our sinnes, by our san∣ctification in the blood of Christ.
* What is the Lords Supper?
* A Sacrament of our continuance and growth in Christianitie, consisting Page [unnumbered] also of the outward visible signes of bread and wine pro∣portionate to the inward and invisible Grace of Christs blessed body and blood ea∣ten, and digested by faith.
* At the first you compared Catechisme to Sampsons haire, which was strong and faire: as therfore you have given mee a suffi∣cient tast of the strength of it, in being the very pith and marrow of the Oracles of God, so now I pray you shew mee the beauty and fairenesse of it, in the order and method thereof.
* First wee did be∣gin with Faith, by which wee live; secondly we did come to the Law, by which wee walke; thirdly we pro∣ceeded on to Prayer, least Page [unnumbered] wee should faint in faith, or waxe weary of good works; Lastly, finding faith but weake, obedience imper∣fect, and prayers cold and distracted, wee have the ob∣signation of the Sacraments which are as Gods seales to secure our estate in him: which also is observed to bee the very methode and oeconomie of th' authorized Catechisme of the Church of England.
A Theologicall Circle, OR THE WHOLE BO∣dy of Divinity, cast into the mould of the yeere, that is into 52. Questions and Answers, according to the num∣ber of Lords Daies.
Whereby the Catechumenoi, learning one onely Question and An∣swer every Sunday, shall in the revolu∣tion of one yeare be instructed af∣ter a manner more then vulgar, and come to know all the grand and necessary truths of the Christian Re∣ligion.
- 1. Mnason, an old disciple, Acts 21. 16.
- 2. Apollos, one mighty in the Scriptures.
1 Iohn 2. 13. I write unto you, Fathers.
THE THIRD Forme of knowledge, or the Fathers Cate∣chisme.
* That very same thing which in one word or tearme is called Felicitie,happinesse, or beatitude: o∣thers call it the chiefe good.
* Neither in 1 wis∣dome, Page [unnumbered] or knowledg, nor in 2 glory and honour, nor 3 in pleasure, nor 4 in dignitie, nor 5 in riches, nor 6 in health and strength, nor7 in favour and esteeme, nor 8 in mo∣rall vertue, nor 9 in tempo∣rall life, nor 10 in immorta∣lity it selfe. Neither any of these, nor all of these toge∣ther, nor any other created thing can quench the thirst of mans soule, nor be said to bee the chiefe good of the reasonable creature.
* Because whatso∣ever may prove mans chiefe good, must necessarily be in∣vested with this double pro∣pertie, 1. that it bee All-suf∣ficient, that is simply, and ab∣solutely able of it selfe to fill Page [unnumbered] the heart, and satisfie the soule, 2. That it be indefici∣ent, and perpetuall, so as the Soule cannot bee made sad either with the sence or feare of loosing it. Now the ve∣ry best of created, and sublunary felicities, if they incline any thing to suffici∣encie or perfection, they are commonly very short and momentany: if they be more lasting, they are usually ve∣ry dilute and imperfect.
* Onely the All-suf∣ficient Lord himselfe, who is All in all both in himselfe, and unto us: and who is onely able and willing to fill every corner of the heart with sátietie and content, Page [unnumbered] and to give us full measure, pressed downe, shaken together, and running over.
Religion is the thing which doth unite and cement man unto his God,* whence it hath its name from tying and knitting, be∣cause our soules which by lapse and sinning were dis∣severed from God, by reli∣gion and divine worship are conjoyned unto him againe.
Noe; onely the true christian religion can doe it. To which purpose the Page [unnumbered] words of the 18 Article a∣greed on by the whole cler∣gy of both provinces, Anno 1562. are worthy obser∣ving: They also are to bee accursed that presume to say, that every man shall bee saved by the Law or sect which hee professeth, so that hee be dili∣gent to frame his life according to that law and the light of na∣ture: for holy Scripture doth set out unto us onely the name of Iesus Christ,whereby wee must bee saved.
Whosoever is admitted, and matriculated by baptisme into the church and being there doth pro∣fesse the wholsome doctrine of Iesus Christ, and withall is of such a reformed life, that Page [unnumbered] his practise gives not his profession the lie, such an one is entituled to that ho∣nourable name and stile of a Christian.
Foure, 1. of Faith or thinges to bee beleeved, the rule whereof are the 12 Articles of the Creed, 2. of Love, or things to be done, the rule whereof are the ten Commandements: 3. of Prayer, or things to be asked, the rule whereof are the six petitions of the Lords pray∣er: 4. of the Sacraments, or thinges to be received.
To be theakey of Faith, andbEpitome or abridg∣ment of whole Scripture. For the canon of holy Scripture being large, and in many places hard to bee under∣stood, it was necessary to abridge those truths which were of absolute necessity to salvation, to the end that all might learne them, and take up the badge of their profession
All points neces∣sary to be knowne or belee∣ved to salvation, are either expresly and directly heerein set downe,* or else by way of reduction and reference may bee brought fitly to some one of these Articles.
There are three Creeds famed all over the christian world: 1. this of the Apostles, made for instru∣ction in the faith. 2. the Ni∣cene creed,* made for the ex∣planation of the faith. 3. A∣thanasius his creed, made for the defence of the faith. Now there are two reasons why it is called the Apostles creed; th' one is at the most but probable, because the A∣postles themselves made it, every one adding his arti∣cle, and as it were casting in his shot; th' other is cer∣taine;* because it containes the summe and abridgment of all the Apostles doctrine.
It imports and implies three thinges, 1. the knowledge of a divine truth, 2. an assent unto it, 3. an affi∣ance and trust in it.
Two grand do∣ctrines, to wit, first the do∣ctrine of the Creation of the world by Gods omnipoten∣cie: and then the doctrine of divine providence, or pre∣servation of the same, ever since it was created. Which two differ onely thus, that Creation was a short provi∣dence, and Providence a long Creation.
In it 5 things are propounded to our faith to beleeve, 1. that he is Iesus, that is, a Saviour, 2 that hee is Christ, that is, anointed and appointed by God to be our priest, prophet, and king, 3 that he is the Sonne of God, to wit, naturall and be∣gotten, 4 that he is his onely sonne, 5 that he is our Lord to governe us, as well as our Iesus to save us.
It containes that great mystery of Godlinesse that a Spirit was generative and a virgin fruitfull, that is, the admirable way of the incar∣nation of our Lord Iesus Christ: of which Article this is the orthodoxe sence, that the holy Ghost did by it's immediate vertue, and divine power, without any seminall commixtion, pre∣pare, sanctifie, and secundate the wombe of the virgine Mary, so as at once, and in an instant the whole humāe body of Christ was formed, and then his reasonable soule was created and infu∣sed into his body.
The five degrees of his Humiliation, each sur∣passing other. Namely, first his Passion, hee suffered, &c. 2 his Crucifixion, or manner of suffering, which was the en∣crease of his passion, was cru∣cified, 3 his death, a degree beyond his crucifixion, dead. 4. his inhumation, and enter∣ment, more then his death, and buried, 5 his descent into hell, a degree beyond the grave, hee went downe into hell unlesse you will make his descent into hell the first degree of his Exaltation, ra∣ther then the last of his Hu∣miliation.
I deeme it the sa∣fest way to hold the doctrin in generall, and implicite termes; that he went downe into hell, the place of the damned, as being the most ancient doctrine of the Ca∣tholique Church, but not too boldly or peremptorily to define either touching the 1 subject, or 2 manner, or 3 end, or 4 time of his descent.
The first degree of his Exaltation, to wit, his resurrection from the dead, together with the circum∣stance of time, the third day, upon which very point did depend all the credit both of his person, doctrine, and Page [unnumbered] miracles, and even of the christian religion it selfe, which should bee dispersed to all the ends of the world.
The second and third degrees of his Exalta∣tion, to wit, first, his Ascenti∣on, that the fourth day after his resurrection, upon mount Olive•, he did visibly, local∣ly, and corporally according to his humane nature, and by the vertue of his owne Godhead, ascend into the third and highest heaven. Secondly, his session at his fa∣thers right hand, by which is ment, that hee was exalted farre above all Angells and Page [unnumbered] men in his very humane na∣ture, and with his father is coeternall and coequall.
* How expound you the seventh article, from thence shall hee come to judge both the quicke and the dead?
It containes the fourth and highest degree of his Exaltation: and the mea∣ning of it is, that though the decree, and authoritie of judgement doe belong e∣qually alike to all the three persons, yet the externall vi∣sible act, or execution of judg∣ment shall wholly bee put into the hands of Christ, the sonne: when to the greater comfort of the godly, their Saviour shall bee their Iudge, and to the wickeds greater terrour, he whom they have crucified, shall sit upon them.
That there is an holy Spirit, which is a di∣stinct person from the father and the sonne, and yet e∣quall to, cōsubstantiall with, and proceeding from both: whose offices are,*1Illumi∣nation, or knowledge, 2Re∣generation or sanctification, 3 to unite and joyne us to Christ our head, 4 to guide, and governe us in the right way to eternitie, 5 to comfort our hearts in both inward tentations, and outward crosses, and 6 lastly, to seale us unto the day of redemp∣tion.
Foure particulars, 1. that there is a Church, to wit, a congregation of men and women elected before time, and called in time by the word and Spirit out of the whole masse of man∣kind, to bee a chosen gene∣ration unto God. 2 that this Church is holy both in re∣gard of 1Persons, 2 meanes, 3 time, and 4place of Gods worship. 3. that it is Catho∣lique, that is, not circum∣scribed or limited, but uni∣versall in regard of 1doctrine 2 members, 3 time, and 4place. 4. that in this holy Catho∣lique Church there is a Soci∣etie and communion of Saints, which have not onely union with Christ, but also Com∣munionPage [unnumbered] one 〈◊〉 another.
I beleeve the remis∣sion of sinnes, that is, I be∣leeve that every transgressi∣on of the law, whereof I am guiltie since I had a being, is not onely pardonable, but (after faith and repentance) pardoned unto mee, and fur∣ther, that though none but God can properly, and of himselfe forgive my sinnes, yet a lawfull minister, who hath gifts from God, and cal∣ling from men, may both de∣clare it to the peace of my Conscience, and also bee Gods instrument to conveigh the same unto mee.
It importeth 3 things, 1 that there shall bee the instauration of the same flesh, the recollection of the same bones and dust. 2 an e∣vocation of the same soule either out of the place of blisse or misery. 3 the reuni∣ting of them together, so as there shall be the same indi∣viduall compound after the resurrection, both for kinde and number, as was before death.
The wordes are these, I beleeve life everlasting the sence is this, that there is an unconceaveable, unut∣terable estate of perfect blisse, and full happinesse, where there shall be a neces∣sary absence of all evill, and a necessary presence of all good, which ere long shall bee the lot and portion of mee in particular, and in generall of all those who in this life are justified and sanctified.
It makes it of a perfect and circular forme. For Amen the last word is neither more nor lesse in va∣lue and importance then I beleeve the first, including three thinges, I knowledge, Page [unnumbered] 2 assent, and 3 affiance.
That is the ve∣ry same which was given by God, the Lawgiver him∣selfe, who divided these ten precepts into two tables, pla∣cing foure in the former, to point us out our duty to God; and sixe in the latter, to set forth our duty to man.
Shew mee both those parts in the first Com∣mandement.
The affirmative part is this, Thou shalt choose Iehovah to bee thy God, and him onely shalt thou know, feare, love, trust in, and serve. The negative is ex∣pressed, Thou shalt not have any other Gods, by which is prohibited 1. Atheisme, or the having of noe God to worship, 2. Polytheisme, or the having of diverse Gods, Page [unnumbered] 3. Idolatrie, or the having of a false God.
This is the affir∣mative: thou shalt worship God by such meanes, and after such a manner as is a∣greeable to his nature, and prescribed in his word, to wit, in spirit and in truth, John 4. 24. the negative is this: Thou shalt not wor∣ship the true God after a false manner.
The affirmative part of it is this, in all things give God his due glory, or con∣ferre all due honour to God Page [unnumbered] that is, both to his divine nature, and essence, to his word, and to his workes. The negative is this, thou shalt neither with unreve∣rend thoughts, or with blas∣phemous words, or with pro∣phane and irreligious actions strike through the glorious and ever blessed name of God, or bereave him of the honour due unto him.
It's affirmative part is this, Remember to keepe holy the Sabboth day, where∣by we are commanded two things, first, to keepe an outward rest, or cessation from labour: Secondly, to sanctifie, or keepe holy that rest. The negative part is Page [unnumbered] this: Thou shalt not pro∣phane the Lords Saboth, ei∣ther in the excesse by a Judai∣call and superstitious obser∣vation of the outward rest, or in the defect, by negle∣cting either the publique or private sanctification there∣of; as namely by taking li∣bertie to doe any manner of worke, which falls not under one of these three heads, workes of Pietie, Cha∣ritie, or necessitie.
It is a comman∣dement of relations, prescri∣bing the mutuall offices of all inferiours and superiours. The affirmative part enjoy∣neth all reverence, love, o∣bedience, and gratitude to∣wards Page [unnumbered] our elders, betters in gifts of body, mind, estate, patrons, and benefactors, domesticall parents, scho∣lasticall parents, ecclesiasti∣call parents, politicall pa∣rents: and back againe all care, governement, prote∣ction, provision, and indul∣gence of them to us downe∣ward. The negative part pro∣hibiteth all manner of disre∣spects, and disregards either of superiours towards their inferiours, or of inferiours towards their superiours.
The affirmative part is this: Thou shalt by all direct and lawfull means safeguard and defend the life and person both of thy Page [unnumbered] selfe, and of thy neighbour. The negative is this: Thou shalt neither with a violent hand, nor a virulent tongue, nor a hanging countenance, no nor so much as an uncha∣ritable thought hurt limme or life, soule or body of thy selfe, or thy neighbour.
The affirmative part is thus much, thou shalt preserve to thy selfe, and to thy neighbour both the in∣ward puritie of the soule, and the outward chastlty of the body. The negative thus much: thou shalt shun all fleshly uncleanenesse, both of the heart in motions and passions, and of the eyes in lookes and speculations, and Page [unnumbered] of the eares in listening to fil∣thy talke, and of the tongue in wanton speaking, and of the body in perpetrating any sort of uncleane action.
In it God makes an hedge about our estate; and the affirmation of it is this: thou shalt first by just getting, and then by faith∣full disposall and steward∣ship of thy goods, beare up thine owne, and thy neigh∣bours estate, that you may bee rather helpefull then needfull to others. The ne∣gation is this, thou shalt nei∣ther by idlenesse, nor im∣providence, nor cousenage, nor injustice, nor riot, or by any other meanes wast, or Page [unnumbered] impoverish the lively-hood and estate of thy selfe, or thy neighbour, whereby you •ought to provide for your selves, and your fami∣lies, and relieve the necessi∣ties of the Saints.
In it God setteth a watch before the doore of our lips, and the affirma∣tive of it is this: thou shalt not onely thy selfe not hurt or give a willing eare to the detractors tongue, but thou shalt uphold and propugne according to truth and ju∣stice, the credit and good name of thy selfe and neigh∣bour. The negative is this: Page [unnumbered] thou shalt neither by pub∣lique slander, nor by pri∣vate backbiting, nor by se∣cret whispering, nor by causlesse suspitions, nor by wrested misconstructions, nor by listening to others accusations and suggestions scandalize thine owne, or thy neighbours fame.
Oh this precept is able to humble, and smite on the knees, the most pre∣varicating sinner, and proud Pharisie in the world, for if there be any that be concei∣ted on his owne righteous∣nesse, and thinke hee hath kept the 9 former, yet must he needs confesse his guilt Page [unnumbered] in this last, for the affirma∣tive part of it enjoynes us holy thoughts, holy desires, sanctified imaginations, pure and unpolluted fantasies; and the negative forbids not one∣ly formed concupiscences, or those second motions which are accompanied with acts of reason, and consent of will, but even the first stir∣rings, and ticklings of the minde to sin, and even such imperfect concupiscences, as whereunto wee yeeld no li∣king or consent.
Yea, as it is qua∣lified by the Gospell, for E∣vangelicall obedience abateth, and taketh off the rigour of the Law, and is satisfied Page [unnumbered] with weake performances, if so be they bee filled up with repentance,* and faith in the bloud of Christ. The poore who could not offer a lambe were to offer a dove, that is, they who cannot per∣forme innocencie, must offer penitencie.
To strengthen our faith before wee pray, in the persuasion, and acknow∣ledgement first of his good∣nesse in that he is Our father,Page [unnumbered] and therefore will helpe us, and secondly of his power in that hee is in heaven, and therefore can helpe us.
That Gods name that is, first himselfe, second∣ly his word, thirdly his works may bee magnified and hal∣lowed, and honoured, and praised, and glorified, and sanctified both of himselfe, of Angels, of men, of bruites, of vegetables, and of all creatures according to the power and language given them by God.
That whereas Gods kingdome is 3 fold, Page [unnumbered] of power, of grace, and of glo∣ry, wee pray that the king∣dome of his power may come upon us, the kingdome of his grace may come into us, and for the kingdome of his glory, that we may come into it.
Wee pray, first that Gods will may be done actively by us, that nothing that wee doe may displease God, and passively upon us, that nothing that God doth may displease us. And wee further pray that this both our active obedience in re∣ference to Gods commanding will, and passive obedience in reference to Gods dispo∣sall will, may be as cheerful∣ly, Page [unnumbered] speedily, sincerely, uni∣versally, and constantly per∣formed by us, as it is by the Saints and Angells in hea∣ven.
In it wee beg all necessary blessings, and eve∣ry word of the petition is to have the full weight: for the word bread teacheth con∣tentation, the word our teach∣eth us justice and diligence: the word us teacheth us cha∣ritie: the word give, Grati∣tude: the words to day and daily, moderation of minde, in regard of too much and sol∣licitous caring for to mor∣row.
As in the 3 peti∣tion God was mans patterne, so here in this man is Gods patterne,* for wee beg that God would remit unto us all our sinnes, whether actu∣all or originall, whether of omission, or commission, whe∣ther of ignorance, or know∣ledge, whether open or secret, whether great beames and ca∣mels, or small moates and gnats whether raigning, or onely molesting, whether of our child hood, youth, manhood, or old age, whether lastly of thought, word, or deed, and all this according to the rule, and stander• of our owne charity, as wee forgive them that trespasse against us: so that wee burthen our selves, and bind our selves with Page [unnumbered] most grievous ferrers,* if we our selves perform not what we undertake, and professe.
That whether tentations be ascending, or in∣jected, whether they be ten∣tations of probation or decep∣tion, whether they be tenta∣tions to sinne, or for sin, whe∣ther we be tempted by God, or by Sathan, or by man, or by our owne lusts and concu∣piscences, yet wee pray that God would deliver us from the evill of tentation, which is, that hee will not suffer us to bee tempted above our strength, but give a gracious issue together with the tenta¦tion.
It is the seale of this prayer, and is both the voice of faith, and the voice of desire, as much as to say, Lord I beleeve these thinges shall be so, and I desire ear∣nestly they may be so, both for thy glory, and the Churches good.
Of the sacraments, which in one word cannot better be defined, then that they are the visible word, wherein, and whereby Christ crucified is preached and declared to our eyes.
** Now whereas the most perfect and exqui∣site knowledge of any thing Page [unnumbered] is to see it in its causes,* and that there are foure causes of a thing, the efficient, from which it is, the matter of which it is, the forme by which it is what it is, and th' end for which it is, first shew mee which be the effi∣cient causes of a sacrament.
Christ himselfe, the head of his Church is the onely Author, or principall efficient cause of a Sacrament, none but hee alone having power to institute, or ordain one in the Church, but a lawfull minister is the instru∣mentall, or secondary efficient cause; hath power to admi∣nister and officiate, as Christ had to institute.
It is threefold, 1 the outward signe represen∣ting, 2 the inward grace re∣presented, 3 the word sancti∣fying.
In the analogy and proportion betwixt the out∣ward signe, and the inward grace, which may be called a sacramentall union, or con∣junction.
Twofold, 1. to signifie, 2. to exhibit the gra∣ces of God therein specified and sealed. And the 12 ar∣ticles thus beleeved, the ten commandements thus kept, the sixe petitions thus pow∣red forth, and the two Sa∣craments Page [unnumbered] thus administred and receaved, bring a man a∣bout in a blessed circular motion unto the first-point of all, to wit, true blessednesse or happi∣nesse.
AN ALPHABET CONTEINING THE BRIEFE OF what is to bee either knowne, or done by them, who unfeig∣nedly desire to make acceptable approches to the Lords Table.
The Communicants Alphabet.
*A Sacrament is the visible word, as the Scripture is the word audible. By it Christ crucified is spoken and preached to our eyes, as in the scripture to our eares.
* BAptisme is the Sacra∣ment of our matriculati∣on, and admission into the Church, and the Lords sup∣per is the Sacrament of our establishment there, and confir∣mation after wee are admit∣ted.
Page [unnumbered]* Christ is the principall Author, or efficient cause of a Sacrament in the Church. A lawfull minister is the secondary, or instru∣mentall cause. None but Christ alone who is the head of the Church can or∣daine or institute one, none but a lawfull minister, that is, who hath gifts from God and calling from men, can officiate or administer one.
* DIstinguish wisely be∣twixt the three parts which concurre to the con∣stituting of a sacrament, to wit, first, the outward signes representing: secondly the inward and invisible graces re∣presented; lastly the word of benediction, or consecration meeting with both.
*FOrme inward, or the es∣sence of a Sacrament, stands in the proportion or analogie betweene the out∣ward signe, and inward grace, which may bee cal∣led a Sacramentall union, or conjunction of the signe, and the thing signified, as namely, the proportion which outward washing holds with inward sanctifi∣cation is the essentiall form of baptisme, and the propor∣tion which bread and wine hold with the body and bloud of Christ is the es∣sence, Page [unnumbered] and forme of the Lords supper.
* GIve diligent heed also all the while of cele∣bration to the whole leitur∣gie or office of the Church, that is, to all the words and actions of the minister, which are said and done ac∣cording to the institution of Christ, and according to the rule and prescript of the Church, whereof thou art a member: for so much is called the outward forme of a sacrament.
* HAve a stedfast regard withall to the three∣fold end of a sacrament, which are, first to be signes to represent; secondly, seales to confirme; thirdly instru∣mentsPage [unnumbered] to conveigh Grace, for Sacraments were but poore thinges to what they are, if they had not an exhi∣bitive vertue, as well as a significative.
* IN preparation to the Lords table due respect must bee had,both to the worthinesse of the receiver, and to the worthinesse of receiving, that is called pre∣cedent worthinesse, or the worthinesse of the Person, and is to goe before; this is called concurrent Worthi∣nesse, or the worthinesse of handling, and is to goe a∣long with the act of recei∣ving.
* LEarne further that this righteousnesse must bee twofold; the one of Christ, which must bee imputed un∣to us, and therefore called the Righteousnesse of faith: the other our owne, which must bee imparted to us, and inherent in us, and therefore called the Righteousnesse of workes.
* MOreover the worthi∣nesse of handling, or of receiving consists chiefly in putting in practice that grand Apostolicall rule, 1 Cor. 11. 28. Let a man exa∣mine Page [unnumbered] himselfe, and so let him eate of that bread and drinke of that cup.
* NEither is it sufficient to prove, unlesse (ou• weaknesses and infirmities being mercifully abated us in Christ) we be able to ap∣prove our selves both to our owne hearts, and to God, who is greater then our hearts.
* OMit not then to exa∣mine diligently the present condition, first, of the Faith, and then of thy manners and life: the touch∣stone of the former is the Creed; and of the latter, the decalogue, or ten comman∣dements.
Page [unnumbered]* PLace first before thine eyes the 12 Articles of that most auncient and Apo∣stolique creed, and examine thy selfe as in the presence of God, first whether thou be able to give stedfast cre∣dit, and firme assent unto each of them one by one; and secondly, whether thou canst apply each article par∣ticularly unto thine owne selfe, and interest thine own soule by affiance and trust, in the benefits and comforts which result from each Ar¦ticle.
* QUestion nextly thy life and manners, and ther∣in place before thee the ten precepts of the morall law, carefully searching by most diligent scrutiny through Page [unnumbered] each commandement, wher∣in thou hast transgressed, and broken either the affir∣mative part of the comman∣dement by sinnes of omissi∣on, or the negative by sinnes of commission.
*REpent from the bot∣tome of thine heart, where thou findest ought a∣misse in either, and give not thy spirit rest, till thou hast brought it to a bleeding plight, and wrought it to some measure of godly con∣trition. For where wee can∣not offer a lambe, wee must offer a dove, that is, where wee cannot performe inno∣cency wee must pay penitency.
*SOrrow for what hath been amisse for the time past▪Page [unnumbered] and carefull both resolution, and endeavour to amend, and reforme for the time to come, are the two parts of true and formall repentance God will neither accept our sorrow without reformatiō, nor our reformation with∣out sorrow and contrition.
* TAke heed with all thy might, that whilst thou art at that holy exercise, nei∣ther eyes nor mind wander, least thou offer the sacrifice of fooles; but strive both to confine the thoughts of thy heart, and to fixe the specu∣lation of thine eye. For (as was said before) it is the visi∣ble word, sermoning and preaching Christ crucified, yea Christ crucifying unto the eyes; in which regard Page [unnumbered] not onely the Elements themselves, but also every action of the minister, while he is officiating is significa∣tive and representative.
* UNto all this one thing more is to bee added, which is the consequent, or subsequent disposition and tem∣per of soule, which is to fol∣low the holy Communion: for the end crownes the worke. Praeexistent congru∣ities, and coexistent con∣currences, and subsequent dispositions must all meet to make a good worke per∣fect and absolute. There is required first a right ingresse into, and then a right pro∣gresse in, and lastly a right e∣gresse out of every holy and pious performance, before it Page [unnumbered] can bee put upon the file of good Workes. An action may miscarry upon one cir∣cumstance, it cannot bee good but upon all.
* WHen therefore thou hast received, and that the holy businesse is en∣ded, thanke God heartily for so great a favour, as to vouch¦safe to feast thee with his owne body and blood, and so make it as it is, an Eucha∣rist, that is, a sacrifice of praise and thankesgiving.
* YIeld also unto God re∣all thankefullnesse, that is, constant and uniforme obedience, eschewing even the least of sinnes which may defile the soule, and setting upon the most difficult of Page [unnumbered] vertues, which may ingrati∣ate thee with God. Having washed thy feet, doe not defile them againe; having put off thy ragges, put them not on a∣gaine.
Novemb. 28. 1639.