NOV ^ im )
CONFESSION of FAITH,
LARGE Rand SHORTER
\V I T H T H E'
SCRIPTURE-PROOFS at LARGE.
The Sum of Saving Know-
ledge (contained in the Holy
Scriptures, and held forth in
the faid Confeflion and Cate-
chifms,) and Pradical Ufe
Covenants, National and So-
Acknowledgement of Sins,
and Engagement to Du-
PUBLIC AUTHO RI TY
I N T H,E
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
ACTS OF ASSEMBLY and PARLIAMENT,
RELATIVE TO, AND APPROBATIVE OF THE SAME.
Dcut. vi. 6, 7,;^nd iheA; words which I command thee this day, ffiall be in thine heart.
Aud th(>^nalt feacn them diligently unto thy children, and Ihalt talk of them when
thou^iireft in thin-; houfe, and when thou walkcll by the svay, and when thou licit
, down, and when thou rifeft up.
t^iiiited for Alex. King a id. His Majesty's Printer/
T H E
GENERAL CONTENT Se
' THE "Preface, hy fundry Englijh Divines,
Mr Mantori's Epi/ile to the Reader.
I. The Confejpon of Faith,
II. The Larger Catechifm.
III. The Shorter Catechifm.
IV. The Sum of Saving Knowledge.
V. The National Covenant.
VI. The folejnn League and Covenant.
VII. The Acknowledgement of Sins, &c.
VIII. The Dire frory for public Worfhip.
IX. The F'^'-m of Presbyterial Church-government,
X, 2 he Dire^ory for Family -vjor/hip.
HEADS OF FAMILIES.
AS wc cannot but with iritual
thraldom confifis, in having our eyes opened, and lelng turned from
darkmfs to light, Ac''i9 xxvi. i8. How much the ferious endeavours
of godly parents and mailers might contribute ro an early feafoning
the tender years of fuch as are under their infpcc'tion, is abundantly
evident not only from their fpccial influence upo!i them, in
refpec'l of their authority over them, intcrcft in them, contiinial
prefencc with them, and frequent oppornniiiics of being helpful to
them ; but alfo from the fad eflcrts which, by wofid experience, wc
find to be the fruit of the ouiiflion of this duly. It were ca(\' to fct
before you a cloud of v. itncflcs, the language of wliofe prac'tice hath
been not only an eminent counnendation of this duty, but alfo a Ic-
rious exhortation to it. As /Ihel, though dead, yet fpeaks by his ex-
ample to us for imitation of his faith, ^c. i-leb. xi. 4. ; fo do tlic ex-
amples of Abraham, of Jo/liua, of the parents of Solomon, of the
grandmother and mother of Timothy, the niother of Augulline,
whofe care was as well to nurfe up the fouls as the bodies of their
little ones ; and as their pains herein was great, fo was ihcii- fuccefs
no way unatifwcrable.
Wc fliould (carce iuiagine it any better than an iuipertinency, in
this noon-day of the goCpel, ciiher to inform or perfuadc in a duty
fo exprefsly con.mandcd, fo freijucntly urged, fo highly encouraged,
and fo eminently owned by the Lord in all ages v ith his blc/nng,
but that our fad experience tells u^, this diity is Jiot ir.ore needful,
than it is of late ncglcded. For the rclloring of this duty to ils
due obfervauce, give us leave to fnggclt thii double ad\itc,
4 The Ep'ijlk to the Reader*
"The firfl concerns heads of families in refped: of thenifelves, that
as the Lord hath fet them'iu place above the rell of' their family',
they would labour in all wif loiii and fpiritual underllanding to be
above them alfo. It is an uncomely light to beheld men in years,
babes in knowledge; and how unmeet are they to inltrudt others,
who need themfelves to be taught which he the firji principles of the o-
'racles of God? Heb. v. 12. Xnovvled^e is an accoiapliihinent fo deilr-
able, that the devils tliemlelves Icnev/ not a more takintr bait by which
to tempt our fidt parents, thanby the fruit of the tree of knowledge :
So flyall you he as gods, pionvlng good and evil. When Solomon had
that favour ihewed hiui of the Lord, that he was made his own
chufer what to afk, he knew no g"eater mercy to beg than wifdom,
I Kings iii. 5. 9. Ihe undcriLauduig is the guide and pilot of the
whole man, that faculty which fits at the ilern of the foul: But as
the nioD: expert guide may millake in the dark, fo may the under-
ilanding, when it wants the light of knowledge: Without kno^.vledge
the mind cannot he good, Prov. xix. 2 ; nor the life good, nor the eter-
nal condition fafe, Eph. iv. 18. My people are defrayed for lack of
kno^vledfe, Kof. iv, 6.' It is ordinary in fcripture to fet profaneriefs
aiid all kind ofmifcarriag.es upon the fcore of ignorance. Difeafes
in the body have m^ny times their rife from diilei\ipers in the lieacl,
ani exorMtances in pracTiice from errors in judgment : And indeed
ir. every fui there is fomething both of ignorance and error at the
bottom ; for, did finners trlily know what they do in fmning, we
might fay of every fin, what the Apoftle fpeaks' concerning that
great Iin, Had they kno^xn him, they 'would net have ci'ncifed the Lord of
glory; did they truly knov/ that every fin is a provoking the Lord
to Jealoufy, a proclaimirig war againft Heaven, a crucifying the Lord
IJefits afrefo. a tredfuring up nurath unti theufelves againjl ihe day of
'^iUrath ; and that, if ever they be pardoned, it nnift be at no lower a
rate than the price of his blood ; it were fcarce poffible but fin, in-
ftead of alluring, iliouki. affright, and inftcad of tempting, flare. It
is one of the arch devices and principal methods of Satan to clcceive
men into fin : Thus he prevailed againfh our firlV parents, not as a
lion, but as a ferpcnt, adlhig his enmity under a pretence of friend-
fliip, and tempting them to evil uirder an 'appearance of good; and
thus hath he all along carried on his defigns of darknefs, by trans-
formiiio- himfelf into an angel of light, making poor deceivcil men
in love with their miferies, and hag their own dtf hrudion. A mofl
" fovereio-u antidote againfl all kind of errors, is to be orotuided and
fettled in the ftdth : Perfons, unfixed in the true religion ; are very
receptive of a falfe ; and they -wiio are nothing in fpiritual know-
ledvifeli: of their teachers, becaxife they have lived long enough to have
been wife, and the evidence of their knowledge is their aged igno-
rance ; and theyar^ readier to flee jnour faces for Church-privileges,
than to learn of us, and obey oin* inllruc^tions, till they are prepar-
ed for them that they may do them good ; like fliappfli ciu-rs, tliat
wiU fnap us by the fingers for their meat, and fnatch it out of our
hands; and not like children, that ftay till we give it them. Parents
have fo ufed them to be unruly, that minillers have to deal but
with too few byt the iniruly. And it is for want of this laying
the foundation well at frrll, that profeflbrs themfelves are fo ignorant
as moll are, and that fo many, efpeciallly of the younger fort, do
Ivvallow downi almoft any error that is offered them, and follow any
&Si of dividers that will entice them, fo it be but done with earneft-
nefs and plaufibility. For, alas! though, by the grace of God, their
hearts may be changed in an hour, (whenever they underftand but
the eflentials of the faitli), yet their underflandings mull have time
and diligence to furnilli them with fuch knowledge as mull flablifh
'them, and fortify them againft deceits. Upon thefe, and many tlje