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AND THE REST OF
THE DIOCESE OF LINCOLN.
MY REVEREND Brethren,
THE following Catechism, composed and published some years ago for the use of my parish, is now, at your request, and by your encouragement, reprinted for the benefit of my diocese: and I make no doubt but that, through the blessing of God upon your pious endeavours, it will help to propagate a more perfect knowledge of the doctrine of Christ, in all the parts of it.
It was with this sort of instruction that that great and wise minister, the Lord Cromwell,* began, as the most likely means to bring on the Reformation, so much desired by all good men: and though what
* See his Injunctions, anno 1536. Reg. Cranmer, fol. 97 and 99.
he required went no farther than to teach, first, the parents and masters themselves, and by them their children and servants, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments; yet was this a good beginning, and even more than many of the clergy themselves, in those days, were very well able to expound to them.
Hence it was, that about eleven years after, King Edward the Sixth* found it necessary to repeat the very same order in his injunctions: "That every holy-day, when there was no sermon, the parsons and vicars in their several churches should, immediately after the Gospel, openly and plainly recite to their parishioners the Paternoster, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments in English, to the intent the people might learn the same; exhorting all parents and householders to teach their children and servants the same, as they are bound by the law of God, and in conscience to do." For their better doing whereof, when the Service-book was compiled about two years after, a catechism was also inserted into it; and the curate enjoined, † every sixth week at the least, to teach and declare the catechism, according to the book of the same."
We are told, indeed, that Archbishop Cranmer‡
Edward the Sixth's Injunctions, anno 1547.
+ Bishop Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 165.
See Hist. ibid. p. 71.