« PreviousContinue »
the Bible with arguments and reflections A compend of Theology, and a treatise on Christian ethics. He lived respected and beloved, and died in the year 1747, in the 84th year
of his age, greatly lamented by all who knew him. THE following is the copy of a letter from the translator of “the CATECHISM FOR Youth” to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, at their sessions in May, 1811.
“ To the Rev. Dr. ELIPHALET Nort, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U. States.
I take the liberty, through you, of informing the General Assembly, that for some time past I have been engaged in translating as a CATECHISM FOR YOUTH, a system of theological instruction from a work in French, by the late learned and celebrated Professor Osterwald of Neufchatel. This work comprises within a short compass a view of the most important doctrines and duties of the Christian religion. The author is well known as an able commentator on the scriptures, and as a sound systematic Divine. The translation is now so far completed that in a short time it might be committed to the press. Should this Assembly deem it worthy of their attention, it will be unreservedly committed to their revision and control, and may be applied to such uses as are best calculated to promote the interests of religion in the churches under their care. When it is considered how all-important religious instruction is at that period of life, for which this work is intended-a period when the principles that are to goverr and establish the character for the residue o life, are tak
ing their colour and direction-how greatly the cause of piety and the public morals might be promoted by a plain, correct, and comprehensive system of theological truth, adapted to the capacities of youth, and to the general progress of knowledge, and issued with the approbation of the highest judicature of our Church ; it is hoped, that under the influence of these impressive considerations, this Assembly will not receive with indifference the humble effort now offered to their
To diffuse extensively, and more especially to awaken the attention of young christians to the great and important truths of that gospel which
has brought life and immortality to light," in their purity and simplicity, without any reference to the peculiar system of any one denomination of Christians; is the aim of the work in question. It is now offered with respectful deference to the General Assembly under a persuasion that, if in any respect it should be found erroneous, it will be corrected-and where it is imperfect, that it will be amended. Earnestly imploring the divine blessing on this humble but sincere endeavour to advance the interests of truth and piety, and ardently hoping that it may be rendered useful in edifying many, but particularly the younger members of the Christian Church,
I remain with the highest respect for the venerable judicature, Sir, your friend and felow labourer.
THE following is an extract from the records of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, made on the receipt and consideration of the foregoing letter, during their sessions in May, 1811.
“ A letter was received from Mr. Samuel Bayard, stating that he had, for some time past, been engaged in translating a system of ihelogical instruction, designed as a Catechism for youth ; which, being now nearly ready for publication, he offers to submit to the revision and control of this Assembly, for the use of the churches under their care.
Whereupon, resolved, that the said work be referred, for examination, to a Committee, consisting of the Rev. Drs. Samuel S. Smith, Samuel Miller, and John B. Romeyn ; who are hereby authorized to inspect the same carefully; and if they find nothing therein contrary to the doctrines of our church, and that it promises to be useful as a summary of the principles of the Christian religion, they are at liberty to certify the same.
THE undersigned, a Committee, appointed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, to examine an elementary work entitled “ a Catechism for Youth," on the subject of the doctrines and duties of the Christian Religion, translated from a treatise of the late PROFESSOR OSTERWALD, in French, by SAMUEL BAYARD, having agreeably to the said appointment inspected the same, do certify that they find nothing therein, contrary to the doctrines of our Church, and that it promises to be useful as a summary of the principles of the Christian religion.
SAMUEL S. SMITH,