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lished: indeed, with the exception of a very few copies, which he brought with him to England, upon his retirement in 1829, for distribution amongst his private friends, the entire impression, consisting of a thousand copies, was left upon the island for the use of the schools. The errors in the former edition have been in this corrected, some omissions supplied, and some important additions have been made. It is now offered to the public, in the hope that it will be found useful in schools of a higher order than those for which it was originally designed, and where instruction in the christian religion forms a prominent and fundamental part of education. To such schools it is certainly better adapted; but that it is above the comprehension and capacities of the children of the lower orders, as some may suppose, the experience of several years has decidedly disproved: much depends on the mode of using it, and the skill of the teacher in lecturing upon it.
It has been the Author's aim to bring the subject of Religion to the consideration of youth, not only in a more extensive and complete form than is usual in scholastic instruction, but also, as far as possible in a work of this nature, in a manner calculated to excite their inquiry, and to make them reflect more seriously
* The author indulges the hope that this little work will, in some degree, meet the views expressed by the Bishop of Chester, in his letter to the clergy of his diocese on " duty of instructing the young of both sexes from the age of fourteen or fifteen and upwards, till they are settled in life.” See also Christ. Obs. for Nov. 1830, p. 670.
and correctly upon the sacred truths of our holy religion. His endeavour has been to contribute materials for raising gradually the christian superstructure upon that foundation, which, it is presumed, had been previously laid at an earlier period of their youth to enlarge their views, and to confirm them in the truth and importance of the principles of their christian faith, and to enable them to render a sound and scriptural “ reason of the hope that is in them.” Throughout, therefore, he has endeavoured scrupulously to adhere to the word of God, and to the views of the Established Church, as exhibited in her formulariesher Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies—“the pillar and ground of truth :” and to avoid, as much as possible, such non-essential and controverted points as divide the Church of God into sects and parties. By a careful adherence to these rules, he ventures to hope it will offend none, and prove generally acceptable and useful, as an intermediate work (which he thinks is much wanted in schools) between the first rudiments, and the higher branches of christian knowledge.
In the progress of revision, it has occurred to the Author that it might not be without its use to Missionaries and their catechists; and that, notwithstanding its elementary nature, it might not be altogether unacceptable to young Students in theology. How far it may incidentally answer either of these ends, he presumes not to anticipate : but some testimonies which have come to his knowledge, of its usefulness to young people inquiring into the subject, encourage him to hope that it may prove equally useful to others, and have principally induced him to offer it to the public. And should it be deemed worthy of admission into schools of a higher order than those for which it was at first intended, he trusts, by the blessing of God, it will contribute materially to the accomplishment of the object of their christian preceptors, in training up the youth committed to their care, “ in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
INSTRUCTION TO TEACHERS.
In explaining the mode of instruction upon this plan, the Author would recommend every teacher, in the first place, thoroughly to ground the children under his care, in the knowledge of the Syllabus, which contains an outline or skeleton of the whole system comprised in this Treatise. To assist the teacher in this object, a short catechetical sketch is annexed. [No. 1.] This object attained, the next thing to attend to is, the outline of each part separately: and for this also, as a specimen, a series of questions is added, [No. 2.] on the third part of this Treatise.
The skilful teacher will be at no loss for questions of a similar nature, by which to instruct and examine the children under his care, in the other parts of the work. Having made them well acquainted with these outlines, he must proceed to the subdivisions; [No. 3.] then to the detail; and lastly, to the references, which are printed at length. The other references are added with a view solely to private study, except in a few instances, where they were too long to print.*
To this plan of instruction should be added a regu
They will serve the purpose of leading texts for the further prosecution of the subject under consideration.
lar series of lectures, at stated periods, upon each part separately. This will afford the teacher an opportunity of explaining what, to some of the children, may be difficult or obscure; and will materially facilitate both their comprehension and their memory: it will give them a lively interest in this most essential part of their education, and render that work pleasing and delightful, which otherwise would be tedious and irksome. Ten or twenty of the most forward children of each school, according to its number and state of advancement, should be selected to learn and repeat this Catechism, after having committed to memory, at an earlier period, those Catechisms which are commonly in use, such as the Church Catechism, Watts' first and second set, the Assembly's, &c.; and the teacher, in delivering his lecture, should command the silence and attention of the whole school. In this way may
learn something; and the junior classes will have been prepared more readily to recite this Catechism when more advanced in age and learning.--The teacher's business need consist of little more than reading a page or two of the work, and making such comments as to him shall appear suitable to existing circumstances; always concluding with prayer. * This method of explaining the system, and of instructing the whole school together, especially on the Sabbath, will no doubt be found most profitable. If the teacher be apt in his illustrations, and from the subject in hand de
* All prayers with children should be short, and made up of short sentences.