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Princeton, June 1, 1813. I cheerfully add my testimony to that of others, in favour of Mi. WILBUR'S “ Biblical Catechism” as an excellent manual in the religious instruction of children and youth.
Extract from a review in the PANOPLIST FOR
Mr. Wilbur has executed his plan in such a manner, as to deserve the approbation of the Christian public.
The questions are important, the texts referred to generally apposite and suited to impress the true answer on the mind, and the effect of teaching this catechism to the young, or rather inducing the young to teach themselves by the use of it, can hardly be otherwise than good. We have examined all the references which are intended to be committed to memory. They form a precious treasury of jewels taken from the inexhaustible mine of Scripture. To have them deposited in the memories of young persons, must be a most desirable reward for the labour of collecting and arranging them.
The principal design of the author in composing this Catechism, was to benefit young persons, associated for the purpose of studying the scriptures together in Catechetical Societies, constitution for which is prefixed to the work. Twenty such societies have been formed we are told, and have experienced essential advantage by consulting this little manual. A large portion of the members have produced answers to questions, selected for the purpose, in the form of written compositions. The manifest tendency of such a course is to make the learner familiar with the Holy Scriptures ; and while his memory is strengthened, and his mind expanded, by studying the momentous truths there revealed, his conscience may be awakened, and, by Divine blessing, his heart renewed.
To TQOSE YOKTAS who are dispose d to imitate the NOBLE conduct of the Bareans, and “search the Scriptures daily,” that they may become acquainted with TRUTH and duty, this FIFTH Edition of the BIBLICAL CATECHISM is affectionately dedicated by their friend,
All who delight in God, in his word, and in the welfare of souls, rejoice to see the young particularly en. gaged in searching the holy Scriptures. They may well rejoice. It is desirable and honourable to become ac. quainted with the perfections of JEHOVAH, the equity of his government, the purity of his law, and the mysteries of his GRACE. These subjects angels desire and delight to contemplate. All heaven is filled with transports of wonder, love and joy in view of them. desire to dwell in heaven? Do you wish possess knowledge, honour and happiness which will endure forever? Then cordially believe, highly prize, daily study, and habitually practise the sublime truths of God's word. The Bible alone reveals the true character of JEHOVAH, with the nature and extent of his requireinents. It reveals the relations and obligations of creatures to their Creator, Preserver and Redeemer. It teaches us our sinful, perishing condition by nature, and the only way in which sinners can obtain and secure the favour of a holy Gon. It directs us how to become useful, respectable and happy in life, & serenely triumphant in death. It unfolds to view the awful scenes of ETER.
Are these subjects of no importance to you, my clear young friends? You are conscious that you possess intelligent and capacious souls. The Scriptures declare them precious and immortal. O Yes, You have just commenced an existence which must be, which INEVITABLY WILL BE, commensurate with ETERNITY. But a solemnity indescribable, thrills through me while I pursue these reflections. A mere point in your existence Is allotted as a state of probation to prepare for the un,
measurable remainder.-How will you improve this moment which is allotted you to "flee from the wrath to come,” escape “ everlasting burnings” and secure immortal blessedness? will you amuse yourselves with pursuing gilt shadows ? or will you seek substantial riches, wisdom and happiness? May I not cherish the fond hope, the pleasing expectation that
of my youthful readers, will consider their ways and be wise, will in future, delight in the word, the worship and service of JEHOVAH, Such, who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality,” such shall inherit “eternal life.” But my fears distress me lest many, whose eyes meet these lines will yet continue to neglect their Bibles-neglect their precious souls, and seek to banish from their minds the thoughts of God, of death, of judgment and eternity:Inconsiderate youth. If you are unmindful of a state of retribution, God is not. The golden wheels of his immutable purposes are rolling on the great day of account, when angels, men and devils, shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ,—when the wicked shall go into endless punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. “Now then we are ambassadors for “ Christ, as “ 'though Gov did beseech you by us : we pray you in “ Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Prepare to meet him with acceptance and joy, “ when he shall “ come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired “ in all them that believe.” Prepare to join the Society of the redeemed, that you may with them, contemplate the glorious perfections, and be filled with the enjoyment of God to eternity. “O that” the young
were wise, that they understood this, that they would consid«er their LATTER END."
ARTICLE I. This Society shall be known by the name of the CATECHETICAL SOCIETY OF Neh. 10. 29. Iş. 44. 5.
Art. II. The member's shall meet statedly as frequently as may be convenient. Heb. 10 25.
ART. III. Each meeting of the Society shall be opened or closed, or both opened and closed with prayer by the CATECHIST or some other suitable person. Jam. 1. 5.
ART. IV. The time spent in the meeting shall be devoted to mental improvement in moral and religious knowlçdge. Eph. 4. 29. Neh. 8. 8.
Art. V. Each member shall daily read with reverence and attention some portion of The LIVELY ORACLES OF GOD. Acts 17. 11, 12.
ART. VI. No person known to be profane, or immoral, and continuing so, shall be long considered a member of this Society. Heb. 12.
While the CREATURE is committing the sacred Scrip:
tures to memory, who knows but the CREATOR may renew the heart? 2 Tim. 3. 14, 15. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ; And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation througte faith which is in Jesus Christ.
Eccl. 11. 6. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand ; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper ; either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
Deut. 11. 18, 19. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart, and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as
frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them 'your children speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Ps. 34. 11. Come, ye children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord (a).
Question 1. What END should regulate all our conduct ?
Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoe ever ye do, do all to the glory of God. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as 'unto the Lord, and not unto men. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory forever, Amen. 1 Cor. 10. 31. Col. 3. 23. Rom. 11. 36. (b) || Is. 48. 11. Ps. 29. 2. Mal. 2. 2. I Pet, 4. 11. Rom. 12. 1, 2. 1 Cor 6. 20. Rev. 4. 11. (a) See Appendix, Note A. (b) See Appendix, Note B.