« PreviousContinue »
Disciples of. This is evident from the Circumcision of Infants under the Law; for they thereby entred into a Covenant with God, and were made the Disciples of Moses. · Thirdly, 'Tis acknowledged. that they are not exprefly excluded by Chrift. Nor, Foarthly, is actual Faith or actual Repentance absolutely and indispensably required in order to Baptism. : This is prov'd in the aforesaid Chapter of the Abridgment. And consequently, İnfants are not virtually excluded by Christ. Wherefore, Fiftbly, the Command to disciple or make Disciples of all Nations, Mattb. 28, 19. extends to the Infants of those Nations; because it extends to all that are capable of Baptism. By this Means it apa pears, that we have a divine Precept for the Bapa tism of Infants. ; ;. !
Concerning the Observation of the Lord's Day as the Christian of the Controversy Sabbath, see the First Chapter of
with the Saturday
Sabbatarians sa Mr. Nelson's Companion for the Festim boy vals and Fasts of our Church, and the Sabbath. Thirteenth and Fourteenth Que- . stions of Turretin's Locus Undecimus.
Our Controversies with other Dissenters respect, Firft, Lay Con
of the Controvey.
fies with other Disn. formity ; Secondly, Ministerial Con- Tenter's formity.
With respect to Lay Conformity, you are to consider in the first “First, About Lay
. Conformity. Place the Disputes about a pre compös'd Liturgy in general, and our own Liturgy in particular. See the Brief History of the joint Use of precompos'd set Forms of Prayer, with the Discourse of the Gift of Prayer annex'd to it, the Discourse of joint Prayer, and the Paraphrase with Annotations upon the Book of Common Prayer, Then add what Nir. Nelson
has has written concerning the Piety and Prudence of our Church in her Festivals and Fasts, and the religious Improvement of them, in his Companion for them. Only you may now omit the First Chapter because you have already perused it, when you consider'd the Christian Sabbath. The Terms of Lay Conformity being vindicated, the Neceffity of joining in Communion with the Establish'd Church of England,is shewn in the Discourse of Schifmi with the Answer to Tbomas against Bennet annex'd to it, down to p. 140. the Two first Chapters of Mr. Hoadly's Defence of Episcopal Ordination, and his Reply to Dr. Calamy's Introduction. You may then add Chapters the Second, Eighth, Ninth, buc. down to the end of the Abridgment of the London Cafes. . Secondly. About Touching the Lawfulness of Mis Ministerial Conform nisterial Conformity, see Mr. Hoada mity. "... ly's Reasonableness of it.
'Twill now be proper for you to of the Church Ca.
Cao read some Exposition of the Church
- Catechism. There is indeed a great Number of that sort of Books; but I am apt to think, that Bishop Wake's Commentary is best futed to your Purpose. ..
· The Casuistical and Practical Part of Casuistical and Practical Writers. Of
of Divinity ought to entertain you
**** upon the Lord's Days, and other Days of Retirement and Devotion. You'll do well to begin with Mr. Kettlewell's Measures of Obedience, and the Whole Duty of Man. To these you may add (or as Opportunity offers, you may consult) Bishop Sanderson's Prele&tions and Cases of Conscience, Dr. Hama mond's Practical Catechism, the other Works of the Author of the Whole Duty of Man,the Sermons which Arch-Bishop Tillotson publish'd in his Life time, Mr. Kettlewell on the Sacrament, and of Christian Pru
dence, and Dr. Barrow's English Works. These are sufficient to give you a fair View of the Casuistical and Practical Part of Divinity, and to furnish you with good plenty of Matter for Sermons. If you have Leisure to peruse or consult more Books of this Kind, there is a great Number of excellent ones tô be had, and 'twill be difficult for you to make an ill Choice. But there is one Book, which I would beg you to be much conversant in, and to make your constant Companion; I mean Dr. Stanhope's Christia an's Pattern, being his Translation of Thomas à Kenia pis's Book de Imitatione Chrifti. : :
There are, I confess, in some of these Casuisti: cal and Practical Books, diverse Controversies in termixt. But if 'twas not impossible, yet 'twas certainly needless, for me to separate them; especially fince they will amply recompense all the Labor you will bestow in the Perusal of them. And indeed, I would advise you by all means, before you are in gag'd in a constant Course of Preaching, to be so well acquainted with then that whensoever you are about to compofe a Sermon, you may readily have recourse to such Parts of them as relate to your Sub. ject. This will make your Composition very easy ; and you cannot but be immediatly fensible of the Advantage of it. Be persuaded therefore to turn on vertheir Indexes frequently and take a cursory View : of what they write about. Make your self able to find whatsoever is contain'd in themt; that altho' you have not at present Leisure to consider it, yet you may instantly run to it, when you have Occafion for it.
There are many Questions commonly mention'd by the Writers of The use of Turre
tin's and LimSystems, which I did not think ith worth while to refer to particular
cence. Whech Headerretin and ks which you'll hou
Authors for. Some of them are of small, or no Concern ; such as serve only to amuse a Student, or beger in him a Disposition to wrangle about such Points as may without any Danger be determin'd either way. Others are of greater Moment, and may deserve your serious Thoughts. Now what is most necessary and substantial, you'll find in those Books or Parts of Books, which I have re. ferr'd you to ; and Turretin and Limborch will furnish you upon such Heads, as I have pass'd over in Silence. When your Inclination leads you to the Consideration of them, you may at a leisure Hour run over the several Contents, and the Lemmata in their Margins, and read what your Curiosity fa. ftens on. Turretin is a Calvinist, and Limborch an Arminian; and their Schemes of Divinity are drawn according to their respective Principles. Wherefore you must be cautious in reading them. Those other Books which I have recommended to you, will prevent your being misled into the principal Errors of these two Authors: and besides, two such opposite Writers necessarily must, and frequently do, correct each other. However, be persuaded to examin their Opinions well, before you im brace them; and advise with a judicious Friend,
when you are doubtful, or any thing surprizes - you.
When you have gone thro' the MeAfarther Pro- oh grefs propos’d.
chod propos’d for studying the Body of
* Divinity, 'twill be convenient for you to examin the Articles and Homilies of our Church. The principal Points contain’d in them you'll have consider'd by studying the Body of Divinity ; but some few remain to be search'd into afterwards. I think you ought to go thro’’em before you are Ordain'd; because you must then subscribe them.
After your Ordination (or before it, if you have Time) you may build upon that Foundation, which I have been directing you how to lay, 1. By acquiring what we call the knowledge of Books, as far as relates to Theological Studies, 2. By a thorough Study of the Scriptures, and descending from them to the Ecclesiastical Wri-. ters, especially those of the first Centuries.
I intreat you to accept my poor Endevors to serve you, and to excuse the Length, and other Imperfections of this Letter.
I heartily pray God to bless your Studies, and am,