A Catechism for Babes, or, Little Ones

Suitable to their Capacity more than others have been Formerly, 1652
by H. Jessey, a servany of Jesus Christ

(found on http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/acfblo.htm)
Prov. 22.6 Catechise or begin the child in his way, according to his 1capacitie: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

2 Tim. 3.15. From 2infancy thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.
1Heb. mouth 2Gr. an infant

London. Printed by Henry Hills, next door to the rose and Crown in Fleetyard, 1652.

To all Parents, Schoolmasters, or others, that are to train up young weaned children, and need direction; The Leader into all truth direct you. KNOWING WHAT account is to be given by all that profess themselves Christians, (Abrahams Seed,) if they endeavour not to (a) instruct such as they have charge of, to know and fear the Lord, and keep his ways, (a) Gen. 18.9. 2 Tim. 1.5. ch. 3.14. Deut. 6.5,6. Pro. 22.6. ch. 31.1,2. And rejoycing much, that good use hath been made of the Catechismes by Mr. Perkins, Mr.Elton, Mr. Egerton, Mr. Ball, Mr. Dan Rogers, and others, for help to youths and elder people.

Yet it clearly appearing, that in very many (if not in the most) of the Answers, are some things like Latine, or Greek to the younger, not being suited to their understandings, as it were to be wished: I much desired to see one so plain and easie in the expressions, as that the very Babes, that can speak but stammeringly, and are of very weak capacities, might understand what they say: and might have some help in Prayer and Thanksgiving to be with their understandings; and not as in a strange tongue, 1 Cor. 14.9,15,19. And not finding any such, I being desired to it, made an Assay above twelve years ago: and the Lord giving aid, and good success therein: and more Copies of it being desired than my time would permit to write over and over again, having added and enlarged some passages, I have yielded to the desires of some that it might be printed for a more generall good to many, that are very easily convinced of the great want of such little ones generally by such a plain, easie, familiar Catechisme: stammering (as it were) to their capacities, as the Lord is pleas’d oftimes to doe to ours. And I have added herein, in a less letter at this mark untill this what may beforborn at first by the youngest Children, and may be learned by them afterwards. afterwards. If it be asked why the Answers are not put in . .. Black Letter, called English Letter? I answer: At first I had so intended: But for the Childs far greater profit, and more ease, and for preventing the more toil in reading the Testament, Bible, and any usuall book, it’s put in our most usuall letter; that English Letter being very seldome now in use, may be learned with more ease afterwards. A Catechisme for Babes, or Little Ones

Q. Who made you?
A. God made me. (Psal. 100.3. Know that the Lord is God, he made us, and not we.)

Q. When did God make you?
A. God made me before I was born. (Psal. 139.13,16, next proof.)

Q. Where did God make you?
A. God made me in my Mother’s womb. (Job 31.15. Did not he that made me in the womb, make him?)

Q. Wherefore did God make you?
A. God made me that I should serve him. (Psal. 100.3. Serve the Lord, —he made us. Luke 1.74.)

Q. Must you not then learn to know God, that so you may rightly serve him?
A. Yea I must learn to know God. (See the first proof 1 Chro. 28.9: Know the God of thy Fathers.)

Q. When must you learn to know God?
A. I must learn to know God now, when I am but a child. (2 Tim. 3,14,15. Eccles. 12.1,2. Prov. 22.6. Remember now thy Creator. See the Title page.)

Q. How may you learn to know God?
A. I may learn to know God by his word, and by his workes. (Deut. 17.19. Psai. 91.7. 11.1 John 39.40. Rom. 1.19,20. He shall read it all the dayes of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God. The Heavens declare the glory of God. Psa. 19.1.

Q. What doe we call the word of God?
A. The Bible, the holy Scripture is the word of God. (Matt. 1.1 Greek Biblos. 2 Tim. 3.15,16. Acts 13.5,15. Almost the whole city came to hear the word of God, with 44,45,48,49, with Acts 26.22,23.

Q. What’s the first book of the Bible called, and what’s the last Book?
A. Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and the Revelation is the last book. (Rev. 22.18,19. Acts 3.23.)

Q. What doth the Scripture say that God is?
A. The Scriptures say, that God is a Spirit; a good God; a wise God; a holy God; a mighty God; a mercifull God; a righteous Judge of all men. (1 Joh. 422. Ps. 34.8. 1 Tim. 1.17. Josh. 24.19. Isa. 6.3. Gen. 17.1. Rev. 15.3. Exod. 34.6. Gen. 18.25.)

Q. How many Gods are there?
A. There is but one Jehovah, one God the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and there is one Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit; and these are one. (Deut. 6.4. Jehovah is one. 1 Cor. 8.6. Eph. 4,5,6. 1 Tim. 2.5. John 14.16,17,26. Eph. 44. 1 John 5,7.)

Q. What workes hath God Made?
A. God made Heavens, and Earth, and Waters, and all things in them. (Gen. 1.1. Ex. 20.11.)

Q. Of what did God make all things?
A. God made all things at first of nothing. (Heb. 11.3.)

Q. How can this be?
A. Nothing is impossible to God Almighty. (Mark 10.27. Luke 1.37. Luke 18.27. Nothing is too hard to God. Jer. 37.17,27. 1 Cor. 15.35,36.)

Q. Why must we believe that God made all of nothing?
A. We must believe it, because God hath said it; and God cannot lie. (Heb. 11.3. Heb. 6.18. Tit. 1.2.)

Q. How did God make all things?
A. God made all by his Almighty power; God said, Let them be made, [or, They shall be made] and they were all made by his word. (Gen. 1.3,6.9,11,14, Psal. 33.6. Revel. 4.11. Jer. 32.17.)

Q. In how many daies did God make all things in the beginning?
A. God made all things in six dayes. (Gen. 2.1,2,3.)

Q. What did the Lord God on the seventh day?
A. God rested on the seventh day, and God blessed the 7th. day, arid sanctified it. (Gen. 2.2,3. Exod. 20. 10,11.)

Q. What must we and you do on the Lord’s Sabbath day?
A. We must not work, nor prate, nor play, on the Sabbath day. (Exod2l0.l 1. Isa. 58.13)

Q. Whether did God make ‘till things good or bad?
A. God is a good God, and God made all things very good. (Psal. 119.68. Thou art good, and dost good. Gen. 1.4,31.)

Q. What other workes doth God, besides his making of all things?
A. God upholds, and preserves all; and God governes, and orders all things. (Isa. 40.26,29. Psal. 135.6. Psal. 36.6. Mat. 10.29,30. Eph. 1.11.)

Q. Why doth the Lord uphold, preserve, and govern all things in Heaven and Earth?
A. God doth all for his own glory, & for his peoples good. (Rom. 11.36. Gen. 1.26,28. Rom. 8.28.)

Q. Whereas God made all very good. How then came in naughtiness, and death, and all paines?
A. Death, and all paines, came by the first Adams sin, and fall: for We sin’d, and lost our goodness, and our happiness in him. (Rom. 5. 12, 18.)

Q. How came Adam to sin and fall?
A. Eve his wife was tempted by that old Serpent the Devil: and they both did eat of the fruit that God forbad. (2 Cor. 11.3. Rev. 12,9 Gen. 3.1,2. to 14.)

Q. What hurt came to them, and to us, by that sin?
A. By this smile came the loss of the life and glory of God: By this came sin and death. (Eph. 4.17. Rom. 3.23. Rom. 5.12. Rom. 6.23.)

Q. What is sin?
A. Sin is any naughtiness against any of Gods ten commands. (1 John Q. What doe we deserve by any sin or naughtiness?
A. By any sin or naughtiness, we deserve death, and Gods curse. (Rom. 6.23. Gal. 3.12.)

Q. How then can you avoid Gods curse?
A. I am guilty, & I cannot avoid Gods curse, by any deeds that I can doe. (Rom. 3.19,20. Rom 11.6. 2 Cor. 3.5.)

Q. But yet God is wonderfull good and mercifull; What bath God done for redeeming these naughty ones?
A. God so loved the World that he gave his onely Son Jesus Christ, Godman, to be our Surety, to redeem us, and to procure all good to us. (John 3.16. Mat. 1.21,23. Heb. 7.22,25. Gal. 3.13. 1 Cor. 1.30. Col. 9.10.)

Q. What did, and what doth this Surety for us?
A. Christ was made a curse for us; and Christ died for our naughtiness, and was laid in the grave; and God was fully satisfied; and released him from that prison, and took him up to Heaven, and set him on his right hand. (Gal. 3.13. 1 Cor. 15.3. v.4. Isa. 42.1. Mat. 12.18. & 17.5. Phil. 2.7,8. 1 Cor. 15.4. Isa. 53.8,11. Act. 1.2,9. Rom. 8.34. Heb. 1.3,13.)

Q. For what end was all this done?
A. All this was done, that God might be honoured in thus forgiving, humbling, renewing, making holy, and happy for ever such naughty ones as we are. (Rom. 520. Tit. 2.11,12,14. Eph. 1.3,4,6,7,12.)

Q. Who comes to reap these benefits by Jesus Christ?
A. They reap these benefits, that by the Spirit are convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement, and that receive Jesus Christ, as their Prophet, Priest, and King. (John 16.9. Rom. 8.9,13. john 1.11,12. Col. 2.6.)

Q. What assurance have we that God will doe so great things for naughty ones?
A. God hath given assurance of this by giving us his own Son; and making him our Surety; and by making a new Covenant, and by confirming it by his Sons death for us; and by raising him from death, to be a Prince & a Saviour, to give repentance & Pardon to Israel, to serve him all our dayes. (Rom. 8.31,32,33. Heb. 7.22,25. Heb. 8.10. Gal. 3.13,15. 1 Cor. 11.25. Acts 5.30,31. Psal. 68.18.)

Q. How must the Lord God be served?
A. We must serve God as he commands us in the Law, and Gospel. (Num. 15.39. Jer. 7.31. Mat. 28.20. John 14.15.)

Q. How many Commandments are there in the Law?
A. There are ten Commandments in the Law. (Exod. 34.28. Deut. 10.4.)

Q. Must you not hearken to Gods word, and to Gods counsel; & pray for all this?
A. Yea I must hearken, that my soul may live; and I must pray, that Jesus Christ would draw me to him, and turn me that I may be turned. (Isa. 55.2,3. Ezek. 36.25,26,37. Acts 8.21. Cant. 1.4. Jer. 31.18. Prov. 2.1,2,3,4.)

Q. Wherefore did God give the Law?
A. The Law, entred that sin might abound; that his Grace, to such undone sinners, by giving Christ to die for their sins, might the more abound. (Rom. 5.20.)

Q. How do they live, and how must they live, that hope to be saved by Jesus Christ?
A. Every one that hath this hope, will labour to be good, in heart, word, & deed. (1 John 3.2,3. 2 Cor. 5.17,18.)

Q. Must we always live here?
A. No: God hath appointed that wee must once die. (Heb. 9.27.)

Q. What must be after our death?
A. After death must bee the great day of judgement. (Heb. 9.27.)

Q. What will become of all naughty people at that day of judgement after death?
A. All must come to judgment: naughty men, and naughty women, & naughty children, must be in hell torments for ever. (2 Cor. 10.5. Rom. 14.10. Mat. 25.41,46. Mark 9.44,45.)

Q. What will then be done to all good men, and to good women, and to good children?
A. Good men, & good women, and good children, shall go to Heaven, and everlasting happiness. (Mat. 25.34,46. 1 Thes. 4.15.) The chief heads of this Catechism fitted for Childrens Capacity

The God that made all, learn to know,
His Word and Works as they him shew.
Scriptures begin with Genesis;
With Revelation th’ending is.
Heaven, Earth and Waters, all therein,
God made in Six daies, every thing.
God rests and Holieth Sabbath day,
That we must not Prate nor play. By Sin Gods Curse, we all should have,
Christ was a Curse, Died, rose to save
And Ransome us from all distress,
And be our Wisdome, Righteousness;
As hee’s to all that him receive,
Who Self-Deny in him Believe. For all this love that God hath done,
In giving us his onely Son.
We not our Own, but his must be,
His will, not ours, Obey must we.
In Love keep his Commandements,
In Him enjoying all Contents.

The sum of the two Tables of the Law. With all thy Heart Love God above,
Thy Neighbour as thy self so Love.

The Ten Commandments, the sum of each.

The First Table

01. Jehova’alone thy God have thou.
02. No Idoll make, nor to it bow.
03. The Name of God take not in Vain.
04. Do not the Sabbath day profane. The Second Table.
05. Honor thy Father and Mother too.
06. Thou shalt not any Murther-do.
07. Do not commit Adultery.
08. Steal Not, by any injurie.
09. False Witness see thou do Not bear.
10. Thy Neighbors State do Not Desire. Why the Law was given. The Law was given to shew our Sin.
And Wrath that’s due thereby. That we to CHRIST for Righteousness, And Life, might alwaies file.

(Rom 5.20,21.13. Rom. 4.15. Rom. 10,4.9,10. Gal. 3.13.18. John 3.14,15,17,36. John 10.10,28.) God Made, Upholds’ and Governs all.

God is a Spirit Eternall.
Most Holy, Wise, Great Good, and Just.
Before Him all to judgment (must)
Then Naughty ones to Hell are cast.
Good go to Heaven, where joyes do last. The Conclusion. O happy Child, if this I Know.
And love, and learn in Life to show. Here happy, in adversity:
And happy to Eternity. Another short CATECHISME: Suited to the capacity of the youngest Learners. Of the Four Conditions of every Man; Namely, What it

1. Was;
2. Is;
3. May be;
4. Must be,

to all Eternity: And how this last may be known in this Life. Of the Four Conditions of every Man. The First Catechisme

Q. What was our condition at first, when God made all things v good?
A. Our condition at first was very good: it was holy, and happy. ( 1.26,27,31. God Created man in his own Image very good.)

2. Q. What is our Condition now, by Adams sin and naughtiness, eating the fruit that God forbad him?
A. Our Condition by Nature, is very bad: it is sinfull; and Curs (Ephes. 2.1,2,3. Dead in sins. Rom. 5.12. 18. Gal. 3.12. Cursed every one that sinneth.)

3. Q. What may be our Condition by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, (who is the second Adam) and by the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit? (2 Cor. 13,14.)
A. Our Condition may be very good again, in the good way of Happiness, if that Grace be received; but if it be neglected, it will be very bad, in the naughty way of Wo, forevermore. (Matth. 7.13,14. Enter in at the strait gate. Rom. 2.7,10. Heb. 2,1,2,3. Cor. 6.1,2.)

4. Q. What must be our Condition after Death, when God send Jesus Christ to judgement?
A. Naughty ones, in the Naughty way, for their naughtiness, must be in Hell for ever. Good ones, in the good way, by the grace of Oil Lord Jesus Christ, must be in Heaven for ever. (Matt. 25.46. These shall go away into everlasting punishment. But the righteous into life everlasting. Rom. 6.23. Sins wages is Death: but the gift of God is eternall life through Jesus Christ our Lord. These four Conditions are more fully unfolded in the second Chatechism. The Second Catechism of the four Conditions of every Man. First of Mans first Condition.

1. Q. What was Mans Condition at first, when God made all the World & Was man then Bad, or Good?
A. God made all good, God made Man like himself, good; for God is good. (Gen. 1.31,26,27. Psal. 34.8. Psal. 119.68. Thou art good, and doest good.)

Q. What goodness or excellency is in God, wherein Man was like to God?
A. God is wise, and God is holy, and God is righteous, and God is perfect. (1 Tim. 1.17. Psal. 145.17. Psal. 129.4. Psalm 7.9. Isai. 40.26-28.)

Q. What more excellency is in God?
A. God is the Lord and Ruler of all the World; God is happy; God hath no naughtiness, nor misery. (Psal. 24.1. 1 Tim. 1.11. Jam. 1.13,17. Job. 34.16. Psalm. 36.8,9.)

Q. How then was man at first like to God?
A. Man at first was like to God, thus; At first, man was wise, man was holy, and man was righteous, and man was perfect. (Col. 3.10. Eph. 4.24. Eccles. 7.29. Eccle. 7.29.)

Q. Wherein besides, was man at first like to God?
A. Man was Lord and Ruler of all the world, and man was happy; man had no naughtiness nor misery. (Gen. 1.26,28. Psalm 65.4. Gen. 1.27,31. Rom 5.12.)

2: Of Mans second Condition

2. Q. When Adam the first man had sinned by doing naughtily, against what God bad him, yielding to Eve his wife, and to the Devil, more than to God: What was Adams Condition then? And what is now the Condition of every Child, of every Man, and of every Woman by Nature?
A. By the sin and naughtiness of Adam our Father, both Adam and we became not like to God, but like the Devil. (Gen. 3.12. Jo. 8.44.)

Q. How is this condition of all now like the Devil?
A. The Devil is sinfull, naughty; and he is miserable: So every man, every woman, and child, is by nature very Naughty, and miserable. (Jo. 8.44. Ephes. 2.2,3. Acts 26.18.)

3. Of Mans third Condition

3. Q. Mans Condition was good at first by Creation: now tis bad by Corruption: What may be your Condition here in this world by Regeneration?
A. Mans Condition may be in the good way of Blessedness; or may remain in the bad way of wo and Cursedness for ever. (Deut. 30.19. chuse life.)

Q. How may Mans Condition be brought here into that good way of Blessedness?
A. Mans Condition here may be brought into that good way of Blessedness, by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (who is Abrahams blessed seed.) (2 Cor. 8.9 & 13.14. Gal. 3.18,16.)

Q. And how else?
A. By the love of God the Father. (John 3.16.)

Q. And how else?
A. By the Communion of the holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 13,14. John 16.9.)

Q. How may Mans Condition, and your own condition be in the bad way of Wo, and of Cursedness for ever?
A. My Condition, and others Condition, may be in that bad way; if we despise or neglect that Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that Love of God the Father; and that Communion of the Holy Spirit. (Heb. 2.1,2,3. & 4.1,2,11. & 10.26. 2 Cor. 6.1,2.)

4. Of Mans fourth Condition

4. Q. Mans Condition at first was Holy & Happy; now it is Sinfull and wofull; it may be here in this life, in the good way of happiness, or in the bad way of Wo forever. What must be all mens Condition at the day of Judgement after Death?
A. All that are dead, shall be raised out of their Graves. And we all must come before the Judgement seat of Christ. (Heb. 9.27. John 5.28. 2 Cor. 5.10. Ro. 14.10.)

Q. What shall then be done to all naughty people, that died in the bad way?
A. To Naughty people, that died in the bad way, Christ will say, Depart ye Cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels: and they must be curs’d in Hel fire for ever. (Mat. 25.3 1,41,46.)

Q. What shall then be done to all Good people, and good Children?
A. To good people, and good Children, that died in that good way. Christ will say, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit ye the Kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the World. And they must be Blessed in Heaven for ever. (Mat. 25.34-46.)

Oh that thou
wouldst Remember
these 4 Conditions!
That wherein thou.

1. Wast!
2. Art!
3. Must be!
4. Must be!

Instruct the Child, that God made all very good, and that all the good we have, or shall have, is from God. And therefore, that we should be thankfull to him for all the good we have, by Day, or by Night. And we should pray to God for all the good we would have. (Eccl. 12.1. Prov 22.6. Prov. 3.6. Psal. 119.68. Psal. 145.9. Rom. 1.21. Acts 8.21,22,23. 1 Thes. 5,18. Luke 18.1. 1 Thes. 5.17. Deu. 6.5,6,7. Ex. 20.7.) In the Morning give thanks and pray. Blessed be God that gave me sleep; and makes me see, and hear, and speak: God Almighty bless me, and keep me from ill all this day, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. (Eph. 1.3. Psalm 127.2. Exo. 4.11. Gen. 28.3. 20 Psal. 121.7. Jo. 14.12.) Before Meat Blessed be God, that gives me meat. God Almighty bless me, and my meat. Amen. (Psal. 104.27,28. & 136.2.) After Meat Blessed be God, that hath given me meat, and fed me; God Almighty bless me, that I may serve him. Amen. (Gen. 48.15. Luke 1.74.) At going to Bed. Blessed be God, that kept me from ill, this day. God Almighty bless me, and give me sleep, and keep me from ill this night, for Jesus Chris sake. Amen.


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