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PREfACE. - .. VU
for them, without niceties and school-distinctions, which have been the wisdom by which the world hath not known God; and the words which have been multiplied without knowledge, by which counsel hath been darkened.
In the answers to the questions, there is not one word, that I know of, placed, but the express words of scripture: and is in some of the questions there be somewhat subsumed, of what in my judgment is the plain and naked import of the words, it is not to impose my sense upon the reader, but to make way for the next question, for the dependance of the matter's sake.
I (hall leave it to the reason of any understanding and judicious man, who is not biassed by self-interest, that great enemy to trac equity, and who in the least measure is willing to give way to the light of Christ in his conscience, if the scriptures do not pertinently and aptly answer to the questions?
As I have upon serious grounds sepai rated from most of the confessions and catechisms heretofore published; so not without cause, I have now taken another method. They usually place their confession of saith before the catechism: I judge it ought to be otherwise in regard that which is easiest, and is composed for A 3 children, children, or such as are weak, ought in my judgment to be placed first; it being most regular to begin with things that are easy and samiliar, and lead on to things that are more hard and intricate. Besides, that things be more largely opened in the catechism, and divers objections answered, which are proposed in the questions, the reader having passed through that first, will more perfectly understand the confession, which consisteth mainly in positive assertions.
Not long after I had received and believed the testimony I now bear, I had in my view both the poffibilty and facility of such a work; and now after a more large and perfect acquaintance with the holy scriptures, I found access to allow some time to set about it, and have also been helped to accomplish the same.
I doubt not but it might be enlarged by divers citations, which are here omitted, as not being at present brought to my remembrance; yet I find cause to be contented, in that God hath so far assisted me in this work by his Spirit, that good remembrancer; the manifestation of which, as it is minded, will help such as seriously and conscientiously read this, to find out and cleave to the Truth, and also establish and confirm those who have already believed: which of all things is most earnestly desired, and daily prayed for,
By ROBERT BARCLAY,
A Servant os the Church of Christ.
From Urie, the place of my being, in my native Country of Scotland, the 11 th of the Sixth month 1673. .
Chap. 3. Of Jesus Christ being mani-