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A SHORT INSTRUCTION

INTO

CHRISTIAN RELIGION

FOR

THE SYNGULER COMMODITIE AND PROFITE OF

CHILDREN AND YONGE PEOPLE.

OUERSENE AND CORRECTED

BY THE MOOST REUERENDE FATHER IN GOD

THE ARCHEBYSHOPPE OF CANTERBURIE.

THE PREFACE. Thys treatice gentle reader, is not wrytten for the curattes and preachers, for manye of them haue so muche knowledge in holye scripture (thankes be to God) that they be alreadye sufficiently instructed in these matters : but it is written for the behoue of the yong children, whiche muste be brought vp with playne and shorte les sons. For wee see daylye by experience, that who so euer wyll teache children, must vse muche discretion and wysedome, not to geue them to much at one time, (lest he dull and oppresse their wittes) and yet that which he gyueth theim, he muste often and many times reherse and repete vnto theim agayne, as nere as he can after one manner of wise, and with the same wordes. For if thei teache them now this, now that, now with these wordes, nowe with other, then the children learne litle or nothing, thei kepe almost nothing in memorye, and besyde that, they waxe wearie of learnyng, and conceaue a lothsomnes therto, and be more slothfull and vnapte to

B

learne. Forasmuch therfore as it was to be feared, that euery pastore woulde not take the paynes to drawe out such a shorte forme of teachynge to the children, nor we thoughte good to burden euery one with so great labours, and also yf eueri pastore seuerally should deuise a fourme for his parishe, it myght chaunce that there should be as many soundrye formes, as there be pastors, which diuersitie myght engender muche diuision and controuercie, and be also much hynderaunce to the children, yf in one place thei learne one forme, and in an other place an other forme. For to exchewe the said inconueniences, we haue thoughte good to deuise this shorte manner and forme tynstructe children and yong men, wherby they maye both shortlie and easely learne the chief prynci. pilles and begynnynge of Christen religion and doctrine, and learne as well howe they oughte to lyue, as also what they shoulde belyue. And whan they haue learned this in their tender age, they shall not onely vnderstande godlye sermons and all other godly doctrine and bookes the better, but also they shall become godly men, and wyse, louers of true religion and godlines, and to al states and orders of lyfe, as well ecclesiasticall as ciuill be more apte and towarde, vnto whiche godly purpose, all fathers and mothers, curattes and preachers, and al Christen maiestrates and officers, should with all theyr mynde and endeuore gyue their ayde and helpe. Wherunto God of his grace graunt his fauour and assistaunce. Amen.

A SHORTE INSTRUCTION

CONCERNYNG THE

TEN COMMAUNDEMENTES.

A GENERAL BEGINNING FOR ALL SERMONS.

GRACE peace and mercie be with you al from God the Father and from his onely begotten Sonne Jesu Christe oure Lord. Amen. That we may profectablie and with fruicte teache and learne the word of God, let vs call for grace and praye the Lordes Prayer.

PATER NOSTER. A generall preface to be rehersed after the prayer, in the be

gynning of eche sermon made vpon the Ten Commaundementes.

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THE prophete Dauid good children lyke a commen scholemaster in the schole of God doeth preache on thys

xxxiiii.

1 Pet. iii. Prouerb.

Psalmes. faschyon in the xxxüii. Psalme, Come hither he saith my

sonnes, herken vnto me, I wil teache you the feare of the

Lorde. Who so euer desireth to lyue, and woulde fayne xii. xiii. xxi. see good dayes, let hym refraine his tongue from euyl,

and hys lyppes that they speake no deceit, let him eschew Jac. i. 3. euil, and do good. Let him seke peace and pursue it.

Now my derely beloued children, I know suerly that there is none amonge you, but that he woulde wyshe to see good dayes, and lead a godlye and quiet lyfe. Then muste you folowe the counsell of the prophete Dauid, with all dilygence to learne the feare of the Lord whilest ye are yet yong and tender of age. For that which men learne not in theyr youth the same do they learne in theyr age with more difficultie. Therfore learne now with all diligence the feare of the Lord deare children, then shal you waxe men of excellent vertue, and leade a godlye lyfe, and shall see good dayes. For a blessed and quiet life is not bought with riches nor gotten by honoure, but by learnynge the feare of God. And he that feareth his Maker, as an Almyghtye God and Lorde, whiche doth mercifully healpe them that be good, and greuously punisheth the wicked, he wyll dyligently take hede, that he do nothynge contrarye to Goddes pleasure, but wil kepe his commaundementes so muche as is in his power. And suche godlye chyldren proue learned and wyse men, which maye be able to profit other and the

common welth also, as Dauid sayth in an other place. Psal. cxi. The feare of the Lorde is the begynnyng of wisedome.

Wherfore if you feare God, and haue a desire to be occupyed in godlines, then learne the Ten Commaundementes, wherby God hath taughte vs, what pleaseth and what dyspleaseth hym, what thynge is good and what is euell. And yf you learne these lessons perfectly, then therby you shal purchase vnto you the beginning of trewe and godly wisedome, whiche is suche wisedom, that many men wel striken in yeares, do not attayne to

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