The Assembly's lesser catechism explained and improved, ca. 1668.
MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION NUMBER 215
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CITATION: The Assembly's lesser catechism explained and improved, MSS 215, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Called by the Lower House of the English Parliament, the Westminster Assembly met from 1643 to 1652 to create a creed and system of government for the Church of England. The group composed both the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. The Westminster Catechism contains two sections: the Larger or Greater Catechism and the Shorter or Lesser Catechism. The Greater Catechism contains one hundred and ninety-six questions and was written for the clergy. The Lesser Catechism contains one hundred and seven questions and was written to instruct children. Both were adopted by the Church of England and Church of Scotland in 1648. Although they continue to be used by the Church of Scotland, the catechisms were rejected by the Church of England in 1660 when the monarchy was restored and central control was reestablished.
This bound volume was written as an improvement to the Westminster Assembly's
Lesser Catechism. The full title is The Assembly's lesser catechism
explained and improved: or, a first rough draught of an essay towards a
familiar explanation of the Assembly's lesser catechism by raising and
answering other lesser questions out of each answer therein with a practicall
(sic) improvement of the doctrinall (sic) truths and principles in it,
by various applications. Rough written in the spare hours of a busy
imployment (sic) for the instruction of youth in the knowledg (sic) of
scripture-principles and to season their hearts (by God's blessing on the
means used) by grace in their tender years. It contains enlargements
and proofs to the first four questions of the catechism: 1) What is the
chief end of man? 2) What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify
and enjoy him? 3) What do the Scriptures principally teach? and 4) What
is God? The text is handwritten in black ink, with questions and
Latin phrases in red ink. The volume has been recently rebound.
There is water damage to the lower half of the volume and some text is
smeared or faded. The author is unknown.