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THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit:
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the ninth day of July, A. D. 1813, and in the thirty-eighth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Hervey Wilbur of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following, to wit:
A short Biblical Catechism, containing questions historical, doctrinal, practical and experimental. Designed to promote an intimate acquaintance with the inspired volume. By Hervey Wilbur, A. M." Search the Scriptures.'-Jesus Christ. 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.'~ Paul. Fourth Edition. In which the first sets of references are quoted,"
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an Act entitled," An Act supplementary to an Act entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints." W. S. SHAW,
Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.
WHILE the united, laudable, and increasing exertions to circulate the BIBLE among the destitute, rejoice the hearts of Zion's friends, they, doubtless, will not despise an humble attempt to promote among those who possess this invaluable treasure, a more intimate acquaintance with "the holy scriptures, which are able to make" us “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jes." The subsequent Catechism was designed particularly for the use of the young, formed in associations for the laudable purpose of replenishing their minds with a knowledge of the doctrines, duties, warnings, promises and consolations of our holy religion. Regular Society meetings of young people, for religious mental improvement, might be rendered deeply interesting and highly useful. They would be cheap, safe, honourable and profitable substitutes for parties entirely devoted to vanity.*-In using this Tract, where the members of any Catechetical Society are nearly equal to the number of questions in the Catechism, the copies appropriated to their use may have similar figures annexed both to the No. and to the question, at the top of the x page. In smaller Societies the odd numbers of the questions or some other convenient ratio may be used.
Thus while the members begin at different questions, a large proportion, or the whole of the Catechism may be recited by the Society, when individual members have prepared or committed, but a few answers each. At each meeting the members severally may answer the questions succeeding those which they answered at the previous meeting.
Such as are disposed to write answers to their respective questions, may consult the references connected with their questions and "search the Scriptures" for other appropriate passages. Thus, they would improve THEM
* Dear IMMORTALS : "Doth not WISDOM cry?" Jonah 2. 8. Prov. 8. 10, 11, 32-36, and 3. 1-18.
SELVES in composition and religious knowledge by digesting, and committing their ideas to paper, and improve OTHERS by communicating them. Society members who choose not to write may commit to memory the references which precede the parallel, and thus answer their questions by storing their minds with scriptural truths in the language of Inspiration. The first sets of references are selected to form in scripture language, connected appropriate answers to the questions, and may be committed to memory as such. Children in families and schools may successfully and profitably adopt this method of using the Biblical Catechism. The proposed exercises, tend to strengthen the memories, enlarge and invigorate the understandings, correct and improve the tastes, and to affect the HEARTS of the YOUNG. Persons of more mature age whose leisure and inclination permit, may be highly useful to the young by writ ing judicious answers to such questions as they please to select, and admitting their answers to be read before a Chatechetical Society or before their domestic circles. By Preceptors it has been suggested that be ginners in composition at Academies might derive partic ular assistance from this Tract. The question would serve to fix their attention to one point. The references would furnish them with ideas which they might easily) clothe in their own language, while their attention to scripture truths would enrich their minds with important knowledge. It has likewise been suggested by learned Fathers in the ministry, that this Tract, with a Divine blessing, would have a tendency to arouse the attention of all classes to the written and dispensed word of Gon, and might be profitably used in religious Conferences, or as a Common-place text book. Finally, if it prove but ONE MITE in the TREASURY OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE, if it be made instrumental of assisting any in drawing "the water of life from the wells of salvation," it will furnish occasion for lively gratitude both in the Reader and in the AUTHOR.
RECOMMENDATIONS, BY THE REV. CLERGY.
Having examined Mr. WILBUR's plan for a BIBLICAL CATECHISM, we think it judicious; the portion which is completed, we entirely approve, and have no doubt, the whole will make a useful publication, highly deserving the attention of private families, of schools, and such societies of young persons as may be formed for the important purposes of religious instruction and improvement.
Samuel Spring, D. D. Newburyport.
JOHN H. CHURCH, Pelham, N. H.
Having attended to Mr. WILBUR'S Biblical Catechism, we think the questions most important; and the texts in the answers judiciously selected. The work in our view is well calculated to produce serious impressions on the minds of children and youth; and to give them rational and scriptural views of the doctrines and duties of our holy Religion. We, therefore, freely, recommend it to Parents, to the Teachers of schools, and Ministers of the gospel as a useful Tract to aid them in the religious culture of children and youth under their
ELIJAH PARISH, D. D. Byfield.
JAMES P. WILSON, D. D. Philadelphia.
WILLIAM BALCH, Salisbury.
ISAAC TOMPKINS, Haverhill.
THO. A. MERRILL, Middlebury, Vt.
Newburyport, Sept. 28, 1812.
DEAR SIR, I have examined as far as practicable your Biblical Catechism. The design I think highly interesting; and the execution generally judicious. Whatever tends to attract the attention of children and youth to the sacred volume, must be beneficial. Nor can any form of religious instruction be either so useful, or so unexceptionable, as that which leads the pupil to draw all his sentiments from a perfect and infallible source.
Wishing that your intended publication may meet the patronage of the publick, and be crowned with the Divine blessing, I am sincerely yours,
West Springfield, Nov. 19, 1812.
On a perusal of your Biblical Catechism, I think it a valuable and useful tract, well adapted to the instruction and edification of such youths as are capable of understanding the questions and applying the references. The questions are important and plainly stated, and the references pertinent. Your method of instruc tion, while it leads to an acquaintance with the doctrines of religion, tends to improvement in SCRIPTURAL knowledge. I am sir, yours,
Philadelphia, March 31, 1813.
Having examined Mr. WILBUR's Biblical Catechism, I think the plan interesting, and well adapted to promote an acquaintance with the scriptures. The questions are well selected and arranged to impress on the minds of youth the leading doctrines of the Bible. Parents will find it useful in the education of their children. Societies formed on this plan must be highly beneficial to youth, and promise much good to the church. I freely recommend it to the patronage of the pious. EZRA FISK