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CATECHISM - A short Introduction to the Confession of Faith.

By Robert Barclay


      Having thus largely and evidently performed the chief Part of that which I promised in this Treatise, in giving a full account of our Principles in plain Scripture-words; and also answering by the Scriptures the chief and main Objections made against us; I come to a Confession of Faith, in which I shall not be so large, for that I judge it not convenient to make an Inter-repetition of all the Scriptures before-mentioned, which, if needful, the Reader may easily observe were not very difficult to do: But whereas a Confession of Faith, calleth rather for an Affirmative Account of one's own Faith, than for the Solution of Objections, or any thing of debate in a discursive Way, which is both more properly and pertinently performed in a Catechism, therfore I have here only done so. I am necessitate sometimes to intermix some words for coherence of the Matter, as sometimes (And) and sometimes (Therefore) and the like; but not such as any ingenuous Person can affirm, do add to the Matter, or that may any wise justly be reckoned a Comment or Meaning, and therefore to avoid the Censure of the most Curious, Carping Criticks; these are marked with a different Character. Likewise unless I should have ridiculously offered to publish incongruous Grammar, there was a true need sometimes to change the Mood and Person of a Verb; in all which places, whosoever will look to the words, shall find it is done upon no Design to alter any whit the naked import of them: as for instance; where Christ sayes, I am the Light of the World; were it proper for me to write thus, I am the Light, &c.? Or can it be reckoned any whit contradicting of my Purpose or Promise to write, Christ is the Light, where the first Person is changed to the third? Also sometimes I express things which are necessarily understood, as when any of the Apostles say, We, there instead of We, I write Apostles; and where they say You, speaking to the Saints, there I mention Saints instead of it; for the Connection of the Sentence sometimes requires it; as in the first Article in mentioning that of 1 John 1:5 concerning God's being Light, and in such like Cases, which I know no impartial Reader would have quarrelled, though wanting this Apology, which I judged meet to premise, knowing there is a Generation, who when they cannot find any real or substantial Ground against Truth and its Followers, will be cavilling at such little Niceties, therefore such may see this Objection is obviated.

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