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Featured The Obvious Need for Confessional Basics Concerning The Faith

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Iconoclast, Nov 2, 2021.

  1. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Again, the survival of the church during persecution is found in confessional churches.
     
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  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    A case can be made that confessional churches that have a vital and active service based on what they believe are those who will stand fast throughout time.
    Many historical churches have died because they misused their confession or catechism as a dry document that they did not prayerfully use.
    You can give someone a chain saw, but if they do not put gas in it, the results will not be the same.
     
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  3. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    "And oil also, lest you shall not persevere" Hezekiah 4:13:)
     
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  4. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    I am reminded of one of the core problems of the Fundamentalist v Modernist battle in the Northern Baptist Convention during the 20s and 30s. The Fundamentalists wanted missionaries and others supported by the Convention to sign on to the New Hampshire Confession. Their opposition cried, "The Bible is our creed."
     
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  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    A claimed confessional basic can be patently false and never by many acknowledge as such. A case in point:
    ". . . the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds . . . ."
     
  6. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Squire, I'm not familiar with the New Hampshire Confession. Did they have objections to things in the confession or the whole concept of any kind of creed? If it's like the fundamentalist church I used to belong to I seem to remember they didn't have much use for creeds period. (And I didn't quit we just moved out of the area. They were really good folks.)
     
  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    The lesson learned from dead churches is that whatever tools we have, they do not work apart from the prayer and Spirit, giving life through the scriptures used.
     
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  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I think every local church ought to have a statment of faith. Such as whether that church regards the 66 book Bible as their sole final authority in all matter of faith and practice. And any other matters of belief held to be of importance to that fellowship.
     
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  9. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Amos
    3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
     
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  10. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    The concept the opposition didn't want to be tied down to anything.
     
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  11. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Well. That shows one good purpose of a creed. There may be ideas that people have based on interpretations of scripture that are so different from each other that it may be hard to worship together. It is nice to be able to read this and know ahead of time I guess.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    There are pros and cons to both positions regarded creeds.

    Creeds help to solidify interpretations within a congregation. In his sermon about sects Spurgeon eloquently spoke of this benefit of sects within a larger Christian context. Creeds help to say "this is what we believe" in regards to Scripture.

    A negative aspect of Creeds is they can be abused. Congregations should never hold a creed as the final say but should be willing to reevaluate interpretations held in any creed against Scripture and make adjustments if deemed necessary. A good creed references Scripture, however in the end they fall short of the truths they interpret.

    An anti-creed church also has some advantages as it is forced to go back to Scripture rather than relying on what had already been concluded insofar as interpretation is concerned.

    A non-creedal church may allow more diversity insofar as interpretation goes, which can be a pro or a con depending on the doctrine.

    A negative aspect with non-creed churches is with an absence of stated interpretation it seems easier to allow doctrine to slip.

    I am thinking of confessions of faith and church covenants similar to Creeds, although perhaps an actual creed carries more weight (at least on the surface).
     
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  13. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    That was at a time when some on the mission field denied basic beliefs, even the trinity.
    It was when the fundementalists stepped up to stand against the error.
     
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  14. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The fundamental issue is which supersedes which? The written word of God being the 66 book Bible or some Creed as the finial word of God.
     
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  15. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    Confessional Basics are an absolute necessity. A Reformed Church I find resourceful is a perfect example. They began drifting away from their position on divorce and remarriage except for one small member from the pews who challenged it. All said and after a lengthy round of debates, they recanted and returned to their original position that only death dissolves the marriage bond making remarriage acceptable to scripture. Any other remarriage no matter the reason is adultery while the original spouse is alive.

    The debates are especially valuable to the reader as they don't leave one stone unturned.
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    This is no issue at all.
     
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  17. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    It does not look like they struggled with this question at all.
    Have you ever read or studied any of these?


    THE PHILADELPHIA CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1742 Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scriptures
    1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. (2Tim. 3:15-17; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Eph. 2:20; Rom. 1:19-21, 2:14,15; Psalm 19:1-3; Heb.1:1; Prov. 22:19-21; Rom. 15:4; 2 Pet. 1:19,20)

    The New Hampshire Baptist Confession of 1853

    1. Of the Scriptures We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (1); that it has God for its author, salvation for its end (2), and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (3); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (4); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (5), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (6). 1. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Sam. 23:2; Acts 1:16; 3:21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psa. 119:11; Rom. 3:1-2 2. 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Acts 11:14; Rom. 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38-39 3. Prov. 30:5-6; John 17:17; Rev. 22:18-19; Rom. 3:4 4. Rom. 2:12; John 12:47-48; 1 Cor. 4:34; Luke 10:10-16; 12:47-48 5. Phil. 3:16; Eph. 4:3-6; Phil. 2:1-2; 1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 4:11 6. 1 John 4:1; Isa. 8:20; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3:5; Eph. 6:17; Psa. 119:59-60; Phil. 1:9-11


    THE LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION OF 1689 Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scriptures 1 The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible a rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light b of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. c Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto d writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. ( a 2Ti 3:15-17; Isa 8:20; Luk 16:29,31; Eph 2:20; b Rom 1:19-21; 2:14-15; Psa 19:1-3; c Heb 1:1; d Pro 22:19-21; Rom 15:4; 2Pe 1:19-20)
     
  18. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Finding the Richest Confessional Treasure Tom J. Nettles

    The Baptists that exist today have a heritage of defining themselves by confessions of faith. Not only has definition been at stake, but the beauty and purity of the local church.
    \
    At times, some Baptists mistook the principle of religious authority, or formal principle, residing in sola scriptura, for the material principle of doctrinal definition. Definition arises from authority; authority remains a mere abstraction unless definition proceeds from it. Definition fritters away into vapor unless it reflects, fosters and fertilizes reality. Notice that I said “Baptists that exist today” have the confessional heritage. “That is not so,” some would argue, and their statement would seem historically plausible. Numerous examples they would cite of those that sought to maintain Baptist life without confessions.

    I would counter, “Those groups ceased to exist and for the most part have no true historical heirs.” Each generation gives rise to reconstructed ideological heirs but they soon cease to be Baptist, or even Christian.

    They leave behind them only documents of dissent from truth but fail to perpetuate a viable Baptist witness into future generations. Graveyards of non-confessionalists form a stern silhouette on the Baptist horizon.


    For example, a controversy over the Trinity and the deity of Christ in 1719 led to a meeting in Salters Hall in London. Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Baptists met together to give advice to the churches of Devonshire and Somerset over this controversy. Thirty-nine of the 110 ministers who met were Baptists.

    When one group suggested that a composite confessional statement serve as a test of orthodoxy, others objected. Among those advocating non-subscription to the confessional test were fourteen General Baptists and two Particular Baptists. The Baptists that advocated subscription included fourteen Particular Baptists and one General Baptist.

    John Gale expressed the opinion of the non-subscribers when he preached, “Away then with all human forms and compositions, with all decrees and determinations of councils and synods, with all confessions and subscriptions; …let every pious Christian embrace and subscribe only that most valuable form of sound words contain’d in the scriptures.”


    No evangelical Christian disagrees with the desire to have every doctrine supported by the clear words of Scripture. To assert that desire accompanied by a denigration of the value of confessions, however, often cloaks a disbelief of vital doctrine more than it affirms a belief of Scripture.


    Joseph Stennet, though not at the Salters Hall meeting, knew of the controversy and its outcome. In 1738, he spoke for the subscribers when he argued 2 Founders Journal that Scripture warranted “us to make a public and explicite confession, as proper occasion offers of every doctrine which we believe to be contained in the word of God.” Without such a confession, separation from the ranks of heresy is impossible. He observed that the non-subscribers of twenty years earlier had degenerated to the point that they no longer held to the uniqueness of divine revelation but subjected it to the “light of nature.” By 1812, Joseph I

    The authoritative revelation, therefore, invites, even requires, that its adherents confess their understanding of its teaching and their heartfelt joy in submission to its truths. The question naturally emerges as to what confession most clearly, fully, and accurately expresses the whole of this divine revelation. This issue of the Founders Journal investigates the usefulness of two highly influential confessions in Baptist history, the New Hampshire Confession (NHC) and the Second London Confession (SLC)
     
  19. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Historic Baptist Documents - Confessions, Catechisms, Creeds | The Reformed Reader

    ANABAPTIST CONFESSIONS OF FAITH

    • WALDENSES CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1120 and 1544

    • THE SCHLEITHEIM CONFESSION, 1527

    • DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH, 1527

    • RIDEMANN'S RECHENSCHAFT, 1540

    • THE DORDRECHT CONFESSION, 1632

    • A DECLARATION OF SEVERAL PEOPLE CALLED ANABAPTISTS, 1659
    ENGLISH BAPTIST-SEPARATIST CONFESSIONS

    • A TRUE CONFESSION, 1596

    • SHORT CONFESSION OF FAITH IN XX ARTICLES, 1609

    • A SHORT CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1610

    • A DECLARATION OF FAITH OF ENGLISH PEOPLE REMAINING AT AMSTERDAM, 1611

    • PROPOSITIONS AND CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, 1612-1614
    EARLY ENGLISH BAPTIST ASSOCIATIONAL CONFESSIONS

    • JOHN SPILSBURY AND HIS CONFESSION

    • THE FIRST LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1644
      CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
      ENGLISH
      SPANISH

    • THE FIRST LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1646 Edition

    • AN APPENDIX TO A CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1646, Benjamin Cox (Coxe)

    • THE FAITH AND PRACTISE OF THIRTY CONGREGATIONS, 1651

    • THE TRUE GOSPEL-FAITH DECLARED ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, ENGLISH BAPTIST GENERAL CONFESSIONS
      • THE STANDARD CONFESSION, 1660

      • THE ASSEMBLY or SECOND LONDON CONFESSION, 1677 AND 1688, approved 1689
        WITH SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
        CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
        ENGLISH
        FRENCH
        SPANISH
        GERMAN©
        RUSSIAN©
        UKRAINIAN©
        CHINESE [Chinese Traditional (Big5)]
        PHILIPINO
        ITALIAN
        MALTESE©
        CROATIAN©

      • A SHORT CONFESSION OR A BRIEF NARRATIVE OF FAITH, 1691

      • THE COALHEAVER'S CONFESSION, 1745

      • ARTICLES OF RELIGION OF THE NEW CONNEXION, 1770

      • THE GOATYARD DECLARATION OF FAITH, 1792


      AMERICAN BAPTIST CONFESSIONS
      • THE PHILADELPHIA CONFESSION, 1742

      • THE SANDY CREEK CONFESSION, 1758

      • THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH, 1833
        CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
        ENGLISH
        SPANISH

      • TREATISE ON THE FAITH AND PRACTICE OF THE FREE WILL BAPTISTS, 1834 AND 1948

      • THE ABSTRACT OF PRINCIPLES, 1858
        CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
        ENGLISH
        FRENCH
        SPANISH
        GERMAN
        ITALIAN
        ARTICLES OF FAITH PUT FORTH BY THE BAPTIST BIBLE UNION OF AMERICA, 1923

      • BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE, 1925
        CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
        ENGLISH
        SPANISH

      • BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE, 1963
        Report of Committee on Baptist Faith and Message, May 9, 1963
        Report of the Presidential Theological Study Committee, June, 1994
        Report of Committee on Baptist Faith and Message, June 9, 1998
        1963 and 2000 Amendment Comparisons
        CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
        ENGLISH
        SPANISH

      • CAMBRIDGE DECLARATION, 1998
      GENERAL BAPTIST CONFESSIONS
      • LIBERTY ASSOCIATION ARTICLES OF FAITH (1824)

      • GENERAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLES OF FAITH (1870)

      • GENERAL ASSOCIATION ARTICLES OF FAITH (1949)

      • A SHORT CONFESSION OF FAITH, IN TWENTY ARTICLES, JOHN SMYTH
      BAPTIST CATECHISMS
      • A CATECHISM FOR BABES, OR LITTLE ONES, 1652

      • A SHORT CATECHISM ABOUT BAPTISM, 1659

      • INSTRUCTION FOR THE IGNORANT, BUNYAN'S CATECHISM, 1675

      • BENJAMIN KEACH'S CATECHISM, 1677

      • THE ORTHODOX CATECHISM, 1680

      • A CATECHISM FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

      • A CATECHISM OR INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

      • THE PHILADELPHIA BAPTIST CATECHISM

      • THE BAPTIST CATECHISM, CHARLESTON ASSOCIATION CATECHISM, 1813
        CURRENT TRANSLATIONS:
        ENGLISH
        SPANISH

      • THE BAPTIST SCRIPTURAL CATECHISM, 1850

      • A PURITAN CATECHISM, 1855

      • A CATECHISM FOR LITTLE CHILDREN, 1864

      • COMPEND OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES HELD BY BAPTISTS: IN CATECHISM, 186

      • A CATECHISM OF BIBLE TEACHING, 1892

      • A BRIEF CATECHISM OF BIBLE DOCTRINE
      WALDENSES CATECHISM
      • A CATECHISM OF THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
      GADSBY'S CATECHISM
      • A CATECHISM TO VINDICATE FALSE ACCUSATIONS THAT GADSBY DID NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL
      CONFESSIONS OF OTHER NATIONALITIES
      • GEST?DNIS VON GLAUBEN DES B?DNISSES VON EVANGELISCH-FREECHURCH GEMEINDEN, DEUTSCHLAND, 1944,
        [CONFESSION OF FAITH OF THE ALLIANCE OF EVANGELICAL-FREECHURCH CONGREGATIONS, GERMANY, 1944]

      • Bek?nelsen OM TRON Om SVENSK D?aren, 1861
        [THE CONFESSION OF FAITH OF THE SWEDISH BAPTISTS, 1861]

      • CONFESSION ET FOI ET PRINCIPES ECCLESSIASTICAL DE L'ASSOCIATION ?ANG?IQUE D'?LISES BAPTISTES FRANCOPHONES, 1879 ET 1924
        [CONFESSION AND FAITH AND ECCLESSIASTICAL PRINCIPLES OF THE EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION OF FRENCH-SPEAKING BAPTIST CHURCHES, 1879 AND 1924]
      HARMONY OF CALVINISTIC BAPTIST CONFESSIONS OF FAITH
      • First London Baptist Confession of Faith (1644/1646)

      • Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

      • New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833/1853)

      • Abstract of Principles (1859)

      • Baptist Faith and Message (1925)
      These five historic Calvinistic Baptist Confessions of Faith are considered to be in essential harmony and all agree on Calvinistic soteriology. Although it is true that the New Hampshire Confession of 1833 and the Statement on Baptist Faith and Message of 1925 could be accused of containing only a diluted form of Calvinism, all the basic tenets of Calvinism strictly considered are present. The difference perhaps, is that you must look for Calvinism in these two confessions, rather than be confronted by it. Historically these two confessions have been used by many churches which are not Calvinistic, or which may only hold to "eternal security."



      THE FIRST LONDON CONFESSIONS OF FAITH

      In Parallel Forms with Supporting Documents Being the Editions of 1644, 1646, 1651 and 1652.

      Reviews by many prominent Baptist and non-Baptist scholars:

      Some Early Baptist Confessions of Faith Explicitly Disowned the "Openness" View
      by John Piper

      An Encouragement to Use Catechisms
      Part 1, Thomas J. Nettles (Founders On-Line)

      An Encouragement to Use Catechisms
      Part 2, Thomas J. Nettles (Founders On-Line)

      An Encouragement to Use Catechisms
      Part 3, Thomas J. Nettles (Founders On-Line)

      Missions and Creeds
      Part 1, Thomas J. Nettles (Founders On-Line)

      Missions and Creeds
      Part 2, Thomas J. Nettles (Founders On-Line)

      What is Catechism
      by Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583)

      Biblical and Pastoral Basis for Confessions and Creeds
      by Robert S. Rayburn "Premise" Volume III, Number 3 / March 29, 1996

      Are Creeds Appropriate for Bible Believing Baptists?
      by Thomas J. Nettles

      The Need To Recover the Practise of Catechism
      by Kim Riddlebarger

      The Legitimacy and Function of Creeds
      by Dean Allen/Mark Sarver

      Confessing the Faith in 1644 and 1689
      The 1689 Confession in America
      by James M. Renihan

      Seventeenth Century Reformed Confessional Theology on the Natural Law and the Decalogue
      by Richard Barcellos

      Baptists, the Bible and Confessions, The Need for Statements of Faith
      by Gregory A. Wills
     
  20. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    What is Catechism?
    by Zacharias Ursinus (1534-158

    Zacharias Ursinus was the primary author of the Heidelberg Catechism. This article is found at the beginning of his commentary on this Reformed catechism under the heading, "Special prolegomena with reference to the catechism" (english translation by G.W. Williard, Columbus, OH, 1852; reprinted by P & R).





    I. What is catechising, or the system of catechisation?
    II. Has it always been practiced in the church, or what is its origin?
    III. What are the principal parts thereof?
    IV. Why is it necessary?
    V. What is its design?

    I. WHAT IS CATECHISATION?
    The Greek word kataecaesis is derived from kataeceoh, as kataecismos is from kataecidzoh. Both words, according to their common signification, mean to sound, to resound, to instruct by word of mouth, and to repeat the sayings of another. Kataeceoh more properly, however, means to teach the first principles and rudiments of some particular doctrine. As applied to the doctrine of the church and as understood when thus used, it means to teach the first principles of the Christian religion, in which sense it occurs in Luke 1. 4, Acts 18. 25, Gal. 6. 6, etc. Hence, catechisation in its most general and comprehensive sense, means the first brief and elementary instruction which is given by word of mouth in relation to the rudiments of any particular doctrine; but, as used by the church, it signifies a system of instruction relating to the first principles of the Christian religion, designed for the ignorant and unlearned.

    The system of catechising, therefore, includes a short, simple, and plain exposition and rehearsal of the Christian doctrine, deduced from the writings of the prophets and apostles, and arranged in the form of questions and answers, adapted to the capacity and comprehension of the ignorant and unlearned; or it is a brief summary of the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, communicated orally to such as are unlearned, which they again are required to repeat.

    In the primitive church, those who learned the catechism were called Catechumens; by which it was meant that they were already in the church, and were instructed in the first principles of the Christian religion. There were two classes of these Catechumens. The first were those of adult age, who were converts to Christianity from the Jews and Gentiles, but were not as yet baptized. Persons of this description were first instructed in the catechism, after which they were baptized and admitted to the Lord's Supper. Such a catechumen was Augustin after his conversion to Christianity from Manicheism, and wrote many books while he was a Catechumen, and before he was baptized by Ambrose. Ambrose was also a Catechumen of this sort when he was chosen Bishop, the urgent necessity of which arose from the peculiar state and condition of the church of Milan, upon which the Arians were making inroads. Under other and ordinary circumstances the apostle Paul forbids a novice or Catechumen to be chosen to the office of a Bishop. (1 Tim. 3. 6.) The neophutoi spoken of by Paul, were those Catechumens who were not yet, or very lately had been baptized; for the Greek word, which in our translation is rendered a novice, according to its literal signification means a new plant; that is, a new hearer and disciple of the church. The other class of Catechumens included the small children of the church, or the children of Christian parents. These children, very soon after their birth were baptized, being regarded as members of the church, and after they had grown a little older they were instructed in the catechism, which having learned, they were confirmed by the laying on of hands and were dismissed from the class of Catechumens, and were then permitted, with those of riper years, to celebrate the Lord's Supper. Those who are desirous of seeing more in regard to these Catechumens, are referred to the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, the tenth book, and latter part of the fourth chapter. Those who taught the catechism, or instructed these Catechumens, were called Catechists.
     
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