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Ex Libris
C. K. OGDEN




THE LIBRARY
OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



LECTURES

ON THE

C AT E C H I S M

OF THE

Church of England:

WITH A

DISCOURSE

O N

CONFIRMATION.



By THOMAS .SECKER, LL. D.
Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.

The SEVENTH EDITION.

Publifhed from the Original Manufcripts
By Be i ley Porte us, D.D. and George Stinton, D.D.
His Grace's Chaplains.

~* " ' «^— !■■.. ■ .ill — . ■ ■ i ■- ■ i ■ - ■ —

VOL. I.



LONDON:

Printed for J.Rivington and Sons, St. Paul's Churchyard;
and B. White and Son, at Horace's Head, Fleet-itrect.

M,DCC,XC.



LLEk



%\m



5.




1




CONTENTS


O F T H E




FIRST VOLUME.


LECTURE I.




TNTRODUCTION.


Page i.


LECTURE II.




Privileges of Bap t if n.


P. 19-


LECTURE III.




Renunciation in Baptifm.


P-33*


LECTURE IV.




Obligation to believe and to do.


P. 49.


LECTURE V.




Grounds and Rule of Faith.


P. 61.


LECTURE VI.




Creed.




Article I. I believe in God the Father, &c.




P. 7Q.



LECTURE VII.

Creed.
Article II. And in Jefus Chrijl his only Son
our Lor dm P. 95.

a 2 LECTURE



J tf • 3 .f" ."■ . -~v »-^



CONTENTS.

LECTURE VIII.

Creed.
Article III. Who was conceived by the Holy
Ghofl, born of the Virgin Mary. P. 109.

LECTURE IX.
Creed.

Article IV. Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified^ dead and buried ; he defcended
into Hell. P. 125,

LECTURE X.

Creed.
Article V. The third Day he arofe again from
the dead. P. 145.

LECTURE XI.
Creed.
Article VI. He afcended into Heaven, and
fitteth on the right Hand of God the Father
Almighty. P. 161.

LECTURE XII.

Creed.
Article VII. From thence he fall come to
judge the quick and the dead. P. 179.

LECTURE XIII.

Creed.

Article VIII. 1 believe in the Holy Ghofl.

P. 195.



CONTENTS.

LECTURE XIV.

Creed.

Article IX. The Holy Catholic Church, the
Communion of Saints. P. 213.

LECTURE XV.

Creed.
Article X. The Forgivenefs of Sins. P. 229.

LECTURE XVI.

Creed.
Articles XI, XII. Part I. The Refurreclion of
the Body, and the Life ever/a/ling. P. 247.

LECTURE XVII.

Creed.
A rticles XI, XII. Part II. The RefurrcSlicn of
the Body, and the x Life everlafling. P. 26 5.

LECTURE XVIII.

The fir ft Commandment, P. 2S5.

LECTURE XIX.
Tioe fecond Commandment \ P. 303.

LECTURE XX.

The third Commandment, P. 321.

LECTURE XXI.

The fourth Commandment. P. 337.



CONTENT S

O F T H E

SECOND VOLUME.

LECTURE XXII.
HT'IIE fifth Commandment, Part I. Page 3;

LECTURE XXIII.
The fifth Commandment. Part II. P. 21.

LECTURE XXIV.

Thefxth Commandment. P. 39.

LECTURE XXV.
Thefeventh Commandment. P. $$•

LECTURE XXVI.

The eighth Commandment. P. J$*

LECTURE XXVII.

The ninth Commandment. P. 95,

LECTURE XXVIII.

The tenth Commandment. P. 113.



CONTENTS,

LECTURE XXIX.

Of Man's Inability, God's Grace x and Prayer
to Him for it. P. I3*«

LECTURE XXX.

The Lord's Prayer.
Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be
thy Name. P. 149.

LECTURE XXXI.

Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done. P. 165.

LECTURE XXXII.

Give us this Day our daily Bread : and forgive
us our Trefpajfes, as we forgive them that
trefpafs againjlus. P. ljj.

LECTURE XXXIII.

And lead us not into Temptation ; but deliver
us from Evil :for thine is the Kingdom, and
the Power, and the Glory, for ever and ever.
Amen. P. 193.

LECTURE XXXIV.

The "Nature and Number of the Sacraments.

P. 207.

LECTURE XXXV.

Of B apt if m. P. 221.



CONTENTS.

L E CTURE XXXVI.
Of the Lord's Supper, Part I. P. 239.

LECTURE XXXVII.
Of the Lord's Supper. Part II. P. 255.

LECTURE XXXVIII.

Of the Lord's Supper. Part III. P. 267.

LECTURE XXXIX.
The Conclufon. P. 279.

A Sermon on Confirmation. P. 299.



LECTURE



LECTURE I.



INTRODUCTION*



IN all Matters of importance, every
one that wants Information, mould firft
feek for it, then attend to it : and the
more our Happinefs depends upon judging
and acting right in any Cafe, the more Care
and Pains we mould take to qualify our-
felves for both. Now the Happinefs of
all Perfons depends beyond Comparifon
chiefly on being truly religious. For true
Religion confifts in three Things ; reafon-
able Government of ourfelves, good Beha-
viour towards our Fellow-creatures, and
Dutifulnefs to our Maker : the Practice of
which will give us, for the mod Part,
Health of Body and Eafe of Mind, a com-
fortable Provision of Necefl'aries, and Peace
with all around usj but however, will al-
Vol. I. A ways



1 LECTURE I.

ways fecure to us, what is infinitely more va-
luable (till, the Favour and Bleffing of God :
who, on thefe Terms, will both watch over us
continually with a fatherly Kindnefs in this
Life, and beflow on us eternal Felicity in
the next.

Since, therefore, whoever is religious
muft be happy, the great Concern of every
one of us is to know and obferve the Doc-
trines and Rules which Religion delivers.
Now we all come into the World igno-
rant of thefe; and our Faculties are fo
weak at firft, and gain flrength fo flowly ;
and the Attention of our earlier Years to
ferious Things is fo fmall ; that even were
our Duty to comprehend no more than our
own Reafon could teach us, few, if any,
would learn it fufficiently without Affiftance ;
and none fo foon as they would need it.
They would come out into a World full of
Dangers, every Way unprepared for avoid-
ing them ; would go wrong in the very Be-
ginning of Life, perhaps fatally : at lead
would hurt, if they did not ruin themfelves ;
and make their Return into the right Path
certainly difficult, and probably late.

But



LECTURE I. 3

But we mud confider yet further, that
Reafon, were it improved to the utmoft,
cannot difcover to us all that we are to
believe and do : but a large and moft im-
portant Part of it is to be learnt from the
Revelation made to us in God's holy Word.
And this, though perfectly well fuited to
the purpofes for which it was defigned,
yet being originally delivered at very diftant
Times, to very different Sorts of Perfons,
on very different Occafions : and the feveral
Articles of Faith and Precepts of Conduct,
which it prefcribes, not being collected and
laid down methodically in any one Part of
it, but difperfed with irregular Beauty
though the Whole, as the Riches of Na-
ture are through the Creation ; the Informa-
tions of the more knowing mufl be in many
Refpects needful, to prepare the more ig-
norant for receiving the Benefits, of which
they are capable from reading the fcripture.
And particularly, giving them before-hand
a Summary and orderly View of the princi-
pal Points comprehended in it, will qualify
them better than any other Thing to

A 2 difcern



LECTURE I.

difcern its true Meaning, fo far as his requi-
fite, in each Part,

Therefore, both in what Reafon of itfelf
dictates, and what God hath added to it,
Inftrudtion is necefTary, efpecially for Begin-
ners. And indeed, as they are never left to
find out by their own Abilities any other
Sort of ufeful Knowledge, but always help-
ed, if poflible; it would be very (Irange, if,
in the moil important Kind, the fame Care
at lead: were not taken.

But befides enlightening the Ignorance of
Perfons, Inftruclion doth equal, if not great-
er, Service, by preventing or oppoiing their
Prejudices and Partialities. From out ten-
dered Age we have our wrong Inclinations,
and are very prone to form wrong Notions
in Support of them j both which we are
extremely backward to acknowledge, and
very apt to model our Religion in fuch
Manner as to leave Room for our Faults.
Now right Explanations clearly delivered,
and right Admonitions preffed home, in
early Days, may preferve Perfons from thus
deceiving themfelves, and guard them
againft future, a* well as prefent Dangers.

Nay,



LECTURE I. 5

Nay, though flighted, and feemingly for-
gotten for a Time, they may ftill keep ie-
cretly fuch a Hold upon the Mind as will
fooner or later bring thole back, who wouM
elfe never have feen, or never have owned,
that they had loft their Way.

But a ftill further Advantage of Inftrudtion
is, that bringing frequently before Perfons
Eyes thofe Truths on which otherwife they
would feldom reflect, though ever £3 much
convinced of them, it keeps the Thoughts
of their Duty continually at Hand, to refill
the Temptations with which they are at-
tacked. Thus their Lives and their Minds are
infenfibly formed to be fuch as they ought ;
and being thus trained up in the Way wherein
they Jhoid d go, there is great Hope, that they
will not afterwards depart from it \

Nor doth Reafon only, but Experience
too, (hew the Need of timely Inftitut'ion in
Piety and Virtue. For is it not-'viflble, that
principally for Want of it, Multitudes of
unhappy Creatures, in all Ranks of Life,
fet out from the fir ft in Sin, and follow it
on as fecurely, as if it were the only Way

' Prov. xxii. 6.

A 3 tl



6 LEQTUREL

they had to take ; do unfpeakable Mifchief
in the World, and utterly undo themfelves,
Body and Soul : whilft others, of no better
natural Difpofitions, but only better taught,
are harmlefs and ufeful, efteemed and ho-
noured, go through Life with Comfort,
and meet Death with joyful Hope ? There
are doubtlefs, in fuch Numbers, Exceptions
on both Sides ; but this is undeniably the
ordinary, the probable, the always to be
expected Courfe of Things. Therefore fe-
rioufly confider, will you defpife religious
Knowledge, and be like the former refera-
ble Wretches? or will you embrace it, and
be happy with the latter, here and to Eter-
nity ?

But it is not fufficient that you be will-
ing to receive Inftru&ion, unlefs they alfo,
to whom that Care belongs, are willing to
give it. Now the Care of giving it belongs
to different Perfons in different Cafes. In
the Cafe of Children, it ufually belongs in
a peculiar Degree to their Parents ; who,
having been the Means of bringing them
into the World, are mod ftrongly bound to
endeavour that their Being may prove a Be-
nefit,



LECTURE I. 7

ncfit, not a Caufe of Lamentation to them ;
and having been endued by Heaven with ten-
der Affections towards them, will be doubly
Sinners againft them, if they are guilty
of that word of Cruelty, not teaching them
their Duty : without which alfo, and it de-
ferves a very ierious Confideration, they can
no more hope for Comfort in them here, than
for Acceptance with God hereafter. And
therefore, both the Old Teftament directed
the Jews, to teach their Children diligently the
Words wbivh God had commanded than ; and
the New enjoins Chriftians to bring up theirs
in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord Q .
Sometimes indeed Want of Leifure, fome-
times of Knowledge and Ability, obliges
Parents to commit Part, it may be a con-
fiderable one, of the Inftru&ion of their
Children to other Perfons. But far from
being ever difcharged of the whole Burthen,
they mull always remember, that unlefs
they affift and enforce what others endea-
vour, it will feldom produce any valuable
Effecl ; and much lefs, if fome of the Things
which their Children hear them fay, and

k Deut. vi. 6, 7, c Ephef. vi. 4.

A 4 fee



8 LECTURE I.

fee them do almoft every Day, are dire&ly
contrary to thofe, which they pretend they
would have them believe and learn.

The perfons on whom ufually this Care is
devolved by parents, are Matters and Mif-
trefl'es of Schools, and afterwards Tutors in
Colleges, who ought never to omit furnifhing
Children, amongtt other Knowledge, plen-
tifully with that which is the moil necettary
of all; but conftantly to employ the Influ-
ence which they have on their Minds, and
the Knowledge which they acquire of their
Tempers, in exciting them to Good, and
preferving them from Evil, as much as they
can : and Parents ought fiift abfolutely to
require this of them, and then examine dili-
gently from Time to Time whether it be
done. But efpecially Matters and Miftrefles
of Charity-fchGols, which are founded pur-
pcf-iy to give the Children of the Poor an
early and deep Tincture of Religion and
Virtue, mould look upon it as by far their
principal Bufmefs to teach them, not merely
outward Obfervances and Forms of good
Words, but fuch an inward Senfe and Love
of their Duty tj Gcd and Man. as may

fee u re



LECTURE I. 9

fecure tru'm, if poffible, from that lament-
able Depravity, into whiJi the lower Part of
th«j World is falling; and which it is highly
the Intereft of their Superiors, ir t *,cy w uld
but underftand their Intereft to reflrain and
correct.

As the Care of Children belongs to their
Parents and Terchers ; fo doth that of Ser-
vants to the Heads of the Families, in which
they live. And therefore it is mentioned in
Scripture by God himfelf as a difiinguifhing
Part of the Character of a good Man, that
he will command his Houfiold to keep the Way
of the Lord y to do Juftlce and Judgment d .
For indeed it is a ftrong and a requisite Proof
of Reverence to our Maker, as well as of
Kindnefs to them, and Concern for our own
Intereft, to direct them in the Way of their
Duty, or procure them the Direction of
good Books and good Advice -, to exhort
them to the more private Exercifes of Reli-
gion; to contrive Leifure for them to attend
the appointed folemn ones, which is plainly
one Part of gl r oi?ig them, as the Apoftle re-
quires, what is ) ujl and equal* - 3 and to fee that

d Gen. xviii. 19. e Col. iv. 1.

the



io LECTURE I.

the Leifure, allowed them for that Purpofc,
be honeftly To employed, and not abufed.

For, after all, the mod valuable Inftruclion
for Servants, for Children, for all Perfons, is
the public one of the Church, which our
Saviour himfelf hath promifed to blefs with
his Prefence f . And therefore it is a Rule of
inexprcffible Moment : Gather the People
together ; Men, Women, and Cbihireti, and thy
Stranger that is within thy Gates : that they
may hear, and that they may learn, and fear
the Lord your God-, and obferve to do all the
Words of his Law : and that their Children,
which have not known any Thing, may hear,
and learn io fear the "Lord your God, as long
as ye live z .

Whoever elfe may fail of doing their Duty,
we the Minifters of Chrift mull: not fail to
be infant in Seafon, and cut of Seafon h ; to
feed the Young with the Jincere Milk of the
Word\ and preach the Gofpel to the Poor k .
It is the peculiar Glory of Chriftianity, to
have extended religious Instruction, of which
but few partook at all before, and fcarce any

f Matth.xviii. 20. 8 Deut. xxxi. 12, 13. h 2 Tim.
iv. 2. ' 1 Pet. ii. 2. k Matth. xi. 5,

in



LECTURE I. ii

in Purity, through all Ranks and Ages of
Men and even Women. The firft Converts
to it were immediately formed into regular
Societies and ArTemblies j not only for the
joint Worfhip of God, but the further edi-
fying of the Body of Chrift ] : in which good
Work, fome of courfe were ftated Teachers,
or, to ufe the Apoflle's own Expreffion,
Catechizers in the Wordy others, taught or
catechized" 1 . For catechizing fignifies in
Scripture, at large, intruding Perfons tit
any Matter, but efpecially in Religion. And
thus it is ufed, Acts xviii. 25. where you
read, This Man was hiftruBed in the Way of
the Lord; and Lake i. 4. where again you
read, That thou may eft know the Certainty of
thofe Things, wherein thou haft been inftr lift-
ed. The original Word, in both Places, is
catechized.

But as the different Advances of Perfons in
Knowledge made different Sorts of Inflec-
tions requisite; fo in the primitive Church,
different Sorts of Teachers were appointed to
difpenfe it. And they who taught fo much
only of the Chriftian Dodrine, as might

1 Eph. iv. iz. m Gal. vi. 6.

y qualify



i2 LECTURE I.

qualify the Hearers for Chriflian Commu-
nion, had the Name of Catechifts appropri-
ated to them : whofe Teaching being ufuall y,
as was moll: convenient, in a great Meafure
by WayofQueftionand Anfwer; the Name
of Catechifm hath now been long. confined
to fuch Inftruction, as is given in that Form.
But the Method of employing a particular
Set of Men in that Work only, is in moft
Places laid afide. And I hope you will not
be Lofers, if they, who are appointed to the
higher Ministries of the Church, attend to
this alfo.

Under the Darknefs of Popery al moft all
religious Inftruc~tioh was neglected. Very
few, to ufe the Words of one of our Homi-
lies, even of the moft fimple people, were
taught the Lord's Prayer , the Articles of the
Faith , or the ten Commandments, other wife than
in Latin, which they underflood not*, fo that
one of the fir ft neceffary Steps taken towards
the Reformation, in this Country, was
a general Injunction, that Parents and Maf-
ters fhould firft learn them in their own
Tongue, then acquaint their Children and

E Homily ag^infc Rebellion, Part 6.

Servants



LECTURE I. 13

Servants' with them : which three main
Branches of Chriftian Duty, comprehending
the Sum of what we are to believe, to do,
and to petition for, were foon after formed,
with proper Explanations of each, into aCa-
techifm. To this was added, in Procefs of
Time, a brief Account of the two Sacra-
ments; all together making up that very-
good, though flill improveable, Form of found
Words p , which we now ufe.

And that it may be ufed effectually, the
Laws of the Land, both ecclefiaftical and
civil, require not only Minifters to inftruct
their Parifhioners in it, but Parents, and
Matters and Miftrefies ; of Families, to fend
their Children and Servants to be inftructed;
meaning evidently, unlefs they made fome
other more convenient Provifion to anfwer
the fame End. For promoting religious
Knowledge and Practice is not only the ex-
prefs Defign of all Church Government, but
a Matter (would God it were well confider-
ed) of great Importance to the State alfo :
fince neither private Life can be happy, nor

" See Wake's Dedication of his Commentary on the Church
Catcchifm. p 2 Tim. i, 13.

the



14 LECTURE I.

the public Welfare fecure for any long Time,
without that Belief of the doctrines and Ob-
fervance of the Duties of Chriftianity, for
which catechizing the young and ignorant
lays the firmed: Foundation.

It mutt be owned, the Catechifm of our
Church is, as it ought to be, fo clear in the
main, as to need but little explaining, all
Things confidered. But then it is alfo, as it
ought to be, fo fhort as to leave much Room
for letting forth the Particulars comprehend-
ed under its general Heads: for confirming
both thefe by Reafon and Scripture; and for
imprinting the whole on the Conferences and
AftecYions of the Learners. This therefore I
{hall endeavour to do, in the Sequel of thefe
Difcourfes, as clearly and familiarly as I am
able.

In the Nature of the Thing, nothing new
or curious ought to have any Place in i uch an
Expofition, as indeed fuch Matters ought to
have little Place in any public Teaching of
Gcd's Word : but lead: of all, where only
the plain fundamental Truths of our common
Faith are to be taught, confirmed, and re-
commended in a plain Way. And yet, as

thefe



L E C T U R E I. 1 1

thefe Truths are of all others the mod necef-
fary; the plaintft Things, that can be fiid
about them, may deferve the Attention of all
Sorts of Perfons ; efpecially as it is but too
poflible, that fome of all Sorts may never have
been taught fufliciently even the fir ft Princi-
ples of Religion, and that many may by no
Means have fufliciently retained, and confi-
dered fince, what they, learnt in their early
Years 5 but preferving fcarce more in their
Minds than the bare Words, if fo much, may
be little the better, if at all, for the Leffons
of their Childhood. To which it might be
added, that p\ &ry one hath need, in a greater
Degree or a lels, if not to be informed, yet
to be reminded and excited.

Let me fcgg therefore, that all who have
Caufe to hope they may receive Benefit,
would attend when they are able : and that
all who have Children or Servants would
bring or fend them. This is not a Day of
Bufinefs. It ought not to be a Day of idle
Amufcments. It is appointed for the public
Worihip pf God, and learning of his Will.
This is one of the Hours of his Worfhip :
it is that Part- of the Day in which you are

moll



16 LECTURE I.

mofl: of you more at Liberty, than you are
in any other. And what will you fay for
yourfelves hereafter, if when you have the
mofl: intire Leifure. vou chufe rather to do
any thing or nothing, than to ferve your
Maker, and improve in the Knowledge of
your Duty? Never was there more Danger of
being infected with Evil of every Sort from
Converfation in the World. Surely then you
mould endeavour to fortify yourfelves, and
thofe who belong to you* with proper Anti-
dotes againfi: it. And where will you find
better, than in the Houfe of God? But par-
ticularly I both charge and beg you, Children,
to mark diligently what I fhall fay to you :
for all that you learn by Rote will be of no
Ufe, unlefs you learn alfo to underftand it.
The Expofnion, which you are taught along
with your Catechifm, will help your Under-
standing very much, if you mind it as you
ought : and what you will hear from me may
be a yet further Help. For if there mould
be fome Things in it above your Capacities,
yet 1 fhall endeavour to the bed: of my Power,
that mofl: Things may be eafy and plain to
you. And, I entreat you, take Care that they

be



LECTURE I. 17

be not loft upon you. You are Toon going
out into the World, where you will hear
and fee Abundance of what is evil. For
Chrift's Sake lay in as much Good, in the
mean while, as you can, to guard you againft it.
But indeed it behoves us all, of whatever
Age or Station we be, to remember, that the
Belief and Pradice of true Religion are what
we are every one equally concerned in. For
without them, the greateft Perfon upon
Earth will, in a very few Years, be com-
pletely miferable : and with them, the
meaneft will be eternally happy. O hear
ye this, all ye People ; ponder it, all ye that
dwell in the World ; high and low, rich and
poor, one with another \ Apply your Hearts
to Infiruclion, and your Ears to the Words of
Knowledge r . For whojojindeth W'ifdomfnd-
eth Life; and Jha/l obtain Favour of the Lord.
But he that finneth againft, her, wrongeth his
own Soul : all they, that hate her, love Death*.

1 Pf. xlix.i, 2 r Prov. xxiii. 12. * Prov. xviii.35, 36.



V01. 1. B LECTURE



LECTURE II.



Privileges of Baptifm.

THE Catechifm of our Church begins,
with a prudent Condefcenfion and Fa-
miliarity, by afking the introductory Quefti-
ons, What in your Name, and, who gave yru
this Same : which lead very naturally the
Perfon catechized to the Mention of his
Baptifm, at which Time it was given him.
Not that giving a Name is any neceflary Part
of Baptifm ; but might have been done either
before or afterwards, though it hath always
been done then, as indeed it was likely that
the firft public Opportunity would be taken
for that Purpofe. But befides, it was no un-
common Thing in ancient Times, thatwhen
a Perfon entered into the Service of a new
Matter, he had a new Name beftowed on
him. Whence perhaps the Jews might de-

B 2 rive



20 LECTURE II.

rive the Practice of naming the Child, when
it was circumcifedj it being then devoted to
the Service of God. The firft Chriftians, in
Imitation of them, would of courfe do the
fame Thing, for the fame Reafon, when it was
baptized : and no Wonder, that wc continue
the Practice. For it might be a very ufeful
one, if Perfons would but remember, what it
tends to remind them of, that they were de-
dicated to Chrift, when their Chriftian Name
was given them ; and would make ufe of that
Circumftance frequently to recollect thofe
Promifes, which were then folemnly made for
them j and w hich they have fince confirmed,
or are tc confirm and make perfonally for
themf Ives. Without performing thefe, we
are Chriftians, not in Deed, but in Name
only : and (hall greatly dishonour that Name,
while we bear it and boaft of it.

Our baptifmal Name is given us, not by
our Parents, as we read in Scripture the
Name of Jewii'h Children was, but by our
Godfathers and Godmothers. And this
Cuftom alfo may have a double Advantage.
It may admonifh them, that having conferred
the Title of Chriftians upon us, they are

bound



LECTURE II. 21

bound to endeavour, that we in y f -?have
worthily ofit. And it may bddaoaUh ua 7 that
our Name having been giving us by Perfons,
who were our Suretits, we are Douud to


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Online LibraryThomas SeckerLectures on the catechism of the Church of England: with a discourse on confirmation 7th ed (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 16)