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Way of Instruction
AND OF THE
Best Manner of Composing them.
By ISAAC WATTS, D. D.
Ifa. xxviii. 9, 10. For them that are weaned from
the Milk, and drawn from the Breasts, Precept
and there a little.
speak in the Air.
Nofter Row; and JAMES BRACKSTONE,
Parents and Governors
Belonging to the
CONGREGATION which usually
afsembles for Worship in BerryStreet, London.
Chriftian Friends, beloved in our Lord, INCÉ you make a solemn Profession of ihe Religion of Christ, and build
your Hopes of a Happy Eternity upon it, I am well persuaded it is the Defire of your Souls that your Families Should be trained up in the Practice of the Same Religion, and become Heirs of eternal Happiness together with yourselves. For
this End you engage their Attendance on publick Worship ; but your Ministers have little hope of obtaining this End by all their publick Labours, unless you join to assist tbem with your private Instructions and Prayers.
Even when we address our Discourses to the Young, we can do it but in general Language ; but you have some special AdYantages with regard to those of your own House : There are many Opportunities which you may seize to promote this pious Work ; many tender Moments of Address wherein you may apply yourselves in a more particular Manner to the Understandings and to the Consciences of your Cbildren, in order to fix the great Doctrines and Duties of Christianity, upon their Memory and their Ileart.
I need not inform you, for you are well apfrized of this great Truth, that the Foundation of all Religion is laid in Knowledge. We must not worship an unknown God, nor pay him Service without Under. Jtanding. "I presume therefore that you take due Care and Pains to instruet your Children in their early Years in the chief Principles of our holy Religion, `and would hope that while you make them learn that
full and comprehensive Form of Instruction called the Afrembly's shorter Catechism, you endeavour to inform them of the Meaning of every Sentence, that they may not learn Words by rote without knowing what they mean.
And yet I beg leave to enquire of you, my Friends, after all your Labours, whether you can find that your Children take in the Sense of those Questions and Answers in the Years of Infancy and Childhood, when you impress the Words upon their Memory? Do they pronounce the Answers in such a Manner as tho they understood the Meaning of them? May I be permitted yet further to enquire concerning yourselves wben you learned this Catechism in your younger Years? Did you understand all those Sen. tences and Expressions, when perhaps you could readily repeat them by beart? I am persuaded you have made fome Observations upon your own Experience, both in learning and in teaching the Things of God: Surely you are convinced it is far better that Chilüren fhould be instructed in the important Principles of their Duty and Happiness, in such a Way, as may lead them to understand the Words which they learn to pronounce. Have not many of you often wished for A 3