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PROV. xxii. 6.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.


Ir is of the utmost importance to instil, SERM. into the minds of young persons, right sentiments of religion and morality; to teach them, at the first opening of the understanding, what they ought to believe, and what they ought to practise. If they are not instructed in this necessary know




SERM. ledge in their youth, there is great reason


to fear that the cares and pleasures of the world will prevent their acquiring it at all ; whereas right principles, properly inculcated at that early season, will probably never desert them during the remaining part of their lives.

With this expectation, our church has provided a catechism, which is a form of instruction by question and answer; and she enjoins her members to teach it their children, as soon as they shall be able to learn it and she further expects, that it should not only be known, but thoroughly understood by them, before they take on themselves, at their confirmation, those engagements which were made for them by their sureties at their baptism. This catechism contains, within a short compass, the chief heads of Christian faith and Christian obedience; and, though there are some obscure parts in it, yet, whatever is



important is clear, and so plain that, with SERM. some little assistance from their elders, and a proper degree of attention on their own parts, it may easily be comprehended, by all, before they arrive at that age, when they will become themselves answerable for the observance of their baptismal vow. It is to contribute my share towards this good work, that I shall dedicate this and some future discourses.

This catechism opens with a recital of the privileges which baptism confers, and of the promises which those, who answer for the young person, make in his name. It then proceeds to instruct him in the articles of faith, which are contained in the belief, to which a short explanation, of what may be gathered from it, is added. It goes on, to regulate his practice, by setting before him the ten commandments; after which, he is told that from these he may learn his duty towards God and towards

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