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REV. CHARLES R. BALL, M. A.,
VICAR OF ST. PAUL'S, PETERBOROUGH.
AND "THE PROMISED SEED.”
43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.;
BRIGHTON: 135, NORTH STREET.
It might seem almost a work of supererogation to add yet another to the numerous explanations of the Church Catechism which already exist.
The experience of many years, however, has convinced the writer that the only possible chance of making the Catechism at all interesting to the ordinary run of children is, first of all, to administer it in small doses, and then to explain it, not by another Catechism, however skilfully framed, but by a familiar and unconventional instruction.
The first requisite of an exposition of the Church Catechism is that each Lesson should be very short.
Children will listen even to an instruction on the Catechism for ten minutes, if they know that it will be strictly limited to that time.
The next requisite is that the explanation should be as free from technical words and phrases as possible, and should be as homely and familiar as the case admits.
The writer has also endeavoured, whether successfully or not, to base the instruction on a wider and more loving, and therefore, as he ventures to think, more truly Catholic Theology than has sometimes been employed.
THE CHURCH CATECHISM.
LESSON I. What is your Name? N. or M. Who gave you this Name ? My God-fathers and God-mothers in my baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. NOW, dear children, I am going to give you a short
N Lesson on the Catechism: and I promise you it shall be a very short one.
I hope to get through the whole Catechism in a year; but we will only take a very little bit each time. Today we will only take two questions and two answers.
Well, to begin with, do you know what is meant by a “ Catechism ? " It means an Instruction given by questions and answers.
The first question and answer won't take us long. It is this :- What is your name ? Answer N. or M.
Now in common talk if I were to say, What is your name? you would say - -, giving your Christian name and your Surname. But when the Church asks you, “What is your name?” you must only give your Christian name. But some people have two Christian names, and if so, they must give both. That is why it puts as an answer “ N. or M.” N. means name, and M. or NN. means names. Now, what name are you to give ? My Christian name. Yes, that is right. But why is it called your Christian name ? Because it was given you when you were made a Christian, when you were Christened, that is, when you were baptized into Christ. We don't make ourselves Christians, God makes us Christians ; 80 we don't choose our own name, our parents choose it, and our God-parents give it.