John a Lasco (1499-1560) wrote this catechism for the Emden churches of East Friesland (Germany) in 1546. Lasco carried the work to England when he took refuge there in 1550. Lasco subsequently had an influential impact on the English reformation.
The original Latin of the Catechism is now lost, but it was translated into Dutch in 1551 by Jan Utenhove. The excerpt below was translated from the Dutch into English, and is found in James Smith’s, John A’Lasco and the Strangers’ Churches (Vanderbilt University, 1964) 132-220, and has been reprinted in Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: Volume 1, 1523-15552, edited by James Dennison, 2008, p. 590-1
The Large Emden Catechism
Question 1: Why did God create man and provide him with such great qualities of intellect in comparison with all other creatures? (Gen. 1,5; Ecclesiasticus 15,17; Eph. 4; Ps. 8)
Response: In order that he might well know his God and Creator, and learn to love, fear, praise and honor Him, and thus become a participant in all his goodness. (Eph. 1; 1 Tim. 2)
[1 Tim. 2:4 says, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”]
Question 11: In what way does his unutterable mercy shine forth?
Response: In this, that God, by his own initiative, through his grace and mercy to the human race after the fall, promised to us, who neither knew nor cared, in fact we ourselves were even enemies, his only Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior, and delivered Him at the proper time. (Eph. 1; 1 Jn. 4; Rom. 5, 3; 1 Tim. 1; Gen. 3)