#1 - Prefatory Note and Epistle Dedicatory
Two Short Catechisms
The first edition of these Catechisms issued from the press in 1645. Dr Owen had at that time the charge of the parish of Fordham in Essex, and laboured diligently for the instruction and benefit of his flock, by catechising from house to house. The catechisms were prepared in order that he might accomplish these parochial duties with greater efficiency and success. “The Lesser Catechism” is designed for the instruction of children; — “The Greater,” for the examination of persons more advanced in years. They are chiefly doctrinal. It was the intention of Owen to have followed up this little work by another Catechism on the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and some articles of the Creed. This intention, however, was never fulfilled. These Catechisms on “the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ” are included in this volume, — which embodies all the treatises of Owen directly relating to the second Person of the Trinity, — inasmuch as, according to a statement of the author in the preface, they were intended to remind his people of what he had publicly taught them, “especially concerning the person and offices of Christ.” They were among the first, as the other treatises in this volume are among the last, of our author’s publications; and we are thus enabled to mark the undeviating consistency with which, during all the ministrations of his public course, Owen held fast by the great doctrines of the Gospel, — “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” - Summary by Editor
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