The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture
Or, as originally titled, The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly Explained and Proven from Scripture
The shorter catechism has been used for centuries as a teaching basis for an introduction to the doctrines of the Christian faith. This London pastor of the 17th century made extensive use of it to train his young people, and his explanation of the catechism has been an invaluable, classic work, reprinted many times over the centuries.
In the opinion of B.B. Warfield, the Westminster divines left to posterity not only ‘the most thoroughly thought out statement ever penned of the elements of evangelical religion’ but also one which breathes ‘the finest fragrance of spiritual religion’. Their most influential work, The Shorter Catechism, was intended as a teaching basis for an introduction to the Christian Faith. No London pastor made more effective use of it than Thomas Vincent (1634-1678). When his ‘explanation’ was first published in 1674, John Owen, Thomas Watson along with 38 other signatories to the Preface, declared their belief that it would ‘be greatly useful to all Christians in general’.
About the Author
Thomas Vincent (1634–1678) was born in Hertford, England and educated at Westminster School, and Felsted School in Essex. He was elected in 1648 to Christ’s College, Oxford (BA, 1652; MA, 1654). Both his father and brother were prominent ministers. He served as catechist to John Owen, and as chaplain to Robert Sidney, second earl of Leicester.
In 1657 he succeeded Thomas Case as rector of St Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, London. But he was ejected from that pulpit in 1662 under the Act of Uniformity. He then assisted Thomas Doolittle at his Nonconformist Academy in Islington.
When the Great Plague came in 1665 Vincent became the friend of the afflicted, offering comfort and assistance to the diseased and dying. 68,000 persons died of the plague in London alone that year, seven in Vincent’s own household. The following year he was eyewitness to the Great Fire of London, which he called “a dreadful, fearful spectacle.”
For the last twelve years of his life Vincent preached to a congregation in Hand Alley, London, devoting himself to educating young people.
Other writings of Vincent found at Grace & Truth Books are:
- The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ
- God’s Terrible Voice in the City