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Westminster assembly of divines
WITH PROOFS, ANALYSES, AND ILLUSTRATIVE
For Teachers and Parents.
REV. ROBERT STEEL, D.D.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH ; AND NEW YORK.
CATECHISMS for the instruction of the young in Christian truth were called forth by the great Reformation of the sixteenth century. In this good work the Bohemian Reformer of the previous age had led the way on a limited scale. But Luther's Catechism became the household book of German families. It marked an epoch in the history of religious teaching. His smaller Catechism, which chiefly deserves the name,"is truly a great little book,” says Dr. Schaff, " with as many thoughts as words, and every word telling and sticking to the heart as well as the memory.” It was an immense boon to the people, and would alone have immortalized its author. It treats of the Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper.
The Heidelberg Catechism was prepared for the palatinate, where Calvinistic theology prevailed. It is more full and thorough than that of Luther, though not so well adapted to early youth. Yet it became very popular, and was rapidly translated into several European languages. In the first part it treats of Sin and Misery, of Redemption, and of Christian Life; in the second part the Creed and the Sacraments are explained ; and in the third, the Decalogue and the Lord's Prayer. The execution is admirable, and has been universally admired. language is dignified, terse, nervous, popular, and often eloquent. It is the language of devotion as well as of instruction.”