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THAT popish axiom is long since exploded; that ig
norance is the mother of devotion.
The world now doth see, that without knowledge the mind is not good. And look as no knowledge is so necessary, as that of the grounds and principles of the Christian religion, so no way is so apt to convey it to men, as that which is called catechistical. More knowledge is ordinarily diffused, especially among the ignorant, and younger sort, by one hour's catechistical exercise, than by manny hours discourses. This way. helps the understanding, whilst it provokes the atentention many elaborate sermons being lost through inadvertency of the hearers. Thus not only ignorance is cured, but error also is prevented: Too many being. disguised, because they were not at first well grounded in the principles of the doctrine of CHRIST. For such reasons as these, we highly approve the labours of this reverend Brother, his explanation of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism. And having to our great satisfaction perused it ourselves in whole or in part, do readily recommend it to others: For he composed it at first for his own particular congregation, yet we judge it must be greatly useful to all Christians in general, especially to private families. The manner of using it in famlies, must be left to the discretion of the masters and governors respectively, though yet we concur with the author, and think it adviseable (as he hints in one of his Epistles) that after a question of the Catechism is propounded, and an answer is re
turned without the book by one of the family, the same person, or some other, to be called upon to read (if not rehearse) the explanation of it, the rest reading along with him in several books; by which means their thoughts (which are apt to wander) will be the more intent. To conclude; though the Assembly's Shorter Catechism itself be above our recommendation, as having its praises already in the churches of Christ; Yet we think it good to give it under our hands, that this explication of it is very worthy of acceptation.
T. Jacomb, D. D.