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be thoroughly digested, if we would bear up successfully against the opposers of our hierarchy. Along with these I would advise our student to read Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, (Valesius's edition is incomparably the best of him) and the other Greek Ecclesiastical Historians. If that edition be not at hand, Dr. Shorting's English translation may be used, who has abridged Valen sius's notes with great judgment.
When the empire became Christian under Constantine the Great a new scene opened, and instead of joining against the common enemy, Christians fought against one another. They had indeed some contest with Heretics before, but the opinions of many of them were monstrous, not far extended, and most of them shortlived. If our student be curious to know what they were, he may be fully satisfied in Irenæus and Epiphanius. The truth is, the common danger united the Christians in those days, and frequent persecutions kept those who were constantly preparing for the fiery trial, in a good measure uncorrupt in the faith, as well as exact in their conversations. What I say here will be better understood from Dr. Cave's Primitive Christianity, and Fleury's Manners of the Ancient Christians, than from any thing which I can add of my own. Their first disputes, when they were quiet abroad, were concerning
mysteries of our faith among themselves. The state of these controversies will be well comprehended by the Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, and by the polemical and apologetical writings of St. Athanasius, which may be perused in a small time. And what the orthodox believed upon all these subjects, is beautifully delivered in very many disa courses of St. Chrysostom.
The History of the Donatists, whose schism broke out in the west, about the time that Arianism began to enflame the east, should likewise be known. It will be useful in the present age, when Ecclesiastical Discipline, and indeed the whole power of the church, has been so impudently ridiculed. St. Augustin's Tracts against the Donatists, and Optatus's Discourse of Schism against Parmenianus, will give a sufficient taste of the ancients way of reasoning upon these subjects.
If our student would know in the general, what the decisions of the ancient church were in its councils, Caranza's and Cabassutius's Sumins will satisfy him; and
the history of their several meetings is accurately written by Du Pin, whose account of Ecclesiastical Writers is undoubtedly the best we have.
But I suppose it will be expected, that I should now come home. An English divine is obliged to preach to the people of England, and to defend the faith and discipline of the church of England against all oppos
The manner of our preaching now, which is come to an admirable height, is chiefly to be learnt from the preachers since the restoration of King Charles II. and among them Archbishop Tillotson is unquestionably the greatest man in that way. The Sermons which he published himself differ so much from his posthumous ones, that one would hardly think many of them to have been written by the same man. Art, and elegance, and perspicuity appear in the utmost perfection in the former; and when I would labour to compose a sermon with the utmost care, I would prepare my mind, and consequently my stile, with reading some few of those discourses before hand. To some of his posthumous discourses he put his last hand. The rest shew great judgment and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and being composed with wonderful familiarity and easiness of stile, without any affectation of eloquence, may be imitated with advantage by one that would speak to a plain unlearned audience; and therefore to a preacher, who is not supposed, as Bishop Sanderson says, to preach ad Aulam, they will be very serviceable; to whoin for the same purpose I would likewise recommend Mr. Bragg's discourses upon the Parables and Miracles of our Saviour; especially if he would learn to emancipate himself from the slavery of using notes; which is never to be done by endeavouring to imitate the brightest patterns, or copying after the most laboured compositions. But here, since I have mentioned preaching, without notes, I would early advise our student not to attempt it till he is so far a master of his profession, as that he can upon any occasion produce out of his own treasure things new and old. Otherwise, what he says will be tattling, not preaching. Before Archbishop Tillotson's time there were not many considerable collections of Sermons, except Gataker's and Sanderson's. In Gataker's Sermons (suitably to the very great learning of the man) there is a wonderful variety of useful matter, but his manner is not now to to be imitated. What
On the proper Method of studying Divinity. 137 Bishop Sanderson has writ; is all gold, and thoroughly refined. His judgınent is exquisite, and not a word is to be lost; but he is rather to be digested than copied. The preachers since Tillotson are obvious; so I shall name none but Dr. Barrow, who with his extensive knowledge, and rare copia of words in the choice of which, it must be confessed he is not always exact) seems to have purposely collected whatsoever could be possibly said upon any subject; no man that reads Dr. Barrow
upon any subject which he has handled, needs rack his invention for topicks, upon which to speak, or for arguments to make these topicks good.
If our divine is obliged to be a constant preacher, it will be necessary for him to have what is commonly called a body of divinity in his head. In order to that, I would advise him first to begin with Grotius, “ of the Truth of the Christian Religion,” which should be in a manner got by heart, and, when that is well digested, he may then with great profit go through with some general systems of divinity. Of these I would recommend four, two written by our divines, and two by foreigners. Our own are Bishop Pearson's exposition of the creed, and Bishop Burnet's exposition of the xxxix articles. Those written by foreigners are the Institution of Calvin and Episcopius. I would have our student begin with Pearson and Burnet. I know fault has been found with some things in Burnet's Exposition of the xxxix articles, but I think generally speaking without ground.
The chief enemies, whom we have to oppose, are Papists, Dissenters, Arians, and those whom we commonly call Deists. Against the Papists, besides the discourses written against Popery, in King James's reign, the best books are Chillingworth against Knot, Laud against Fisher, Stillingfleet's Defence of Laud, and his Tracts concerning the Idolatry of the Church of Rome, Tillotson's Rule of Faith, Barrow against the Pope's Supremacy, Mason's and Burnet's Defences of the Ordinations of the Church of England, and Field of the Church. Against the Protestant Dissenters, we have in the first place Hooker's Ecclesiastical Politn, Bilson of
perpetual Government of Christ's Church, Stillingfleet's Unreasonableness of Separation, Archbishop King on the Inventions of Men in the Service of God, FalkVol. X. Churchm. Mag. for Feb. 1806. T
ner's Discourses against the Dissenters, and the London Cases, which are written with excellent temper and judgment: to which we may add Dr. Hammond's Tracts, with his defence of Episcopacy against Blondel, and Bishop Pearson's Defence of the Epistles of St. Ignatius. The controversy concerning the Rights of the Church will properly come in here; though the author of the pestilent book so called is equally an enemy to the Presbyterians and to us. Those that would understand that controversy well should read Mr. Thorndike's Works, and the answers to the Rights, of which Bishop Potter's and Dr. Hickes's are the most considerable. What the Quakers hold, and how their tenets may be exposed, will be fully seen in Lesley's, Bugg's, and Keith's Dis
The best books against the Arians, besides Pearson upon the Creed, are Bishop Bull's Works, and the Tracts of the ancient Fathers against the Arians, which are very numerous. We have an accurate sum of what the fathers have said upon that subject, in Petavius's Dogmata Theologica set down at large. But Petavius being inclinable to Arianism (though a Jesuit) Bishop Bull's Defence of the Nicene Creed, should be read along with him. Grotius and Stillingfleet have exhausted that part of the Controversy, which relates to the satisfaction of Jesus Christ.
Against those that deny either the existence of God, or any actual revelation of his will to mankind, this age bas produced more excellent writers, than all the ages that have gone before us. The opinions of the ancient philosophers upon this subject are very accurately described and explained by Dr. Cudworth in his Intellectual System of the Universe. The existence of a God, and the necessity of a Providence, as they may be prov, ed from the works of the Creation, are proved beyond contradiction, and the particulars demonstrated by Dr. Bentley and Dr. Clarke, in their Boylean Lectures, by Dr. Cheyne in his Philosophical Principles of Natural Religion, and by Mr. Derham in his Physico-Theology, Judge Hale's Origination of Mankind is likewise weil worth reading upon this subject; and Dr. Jenkin's Reasonableness and Certainty of the Christian Religion, with Bishop Stillingtleet’s Origines Sacræ (especially the posthumous editions) contain great variety of useful and curious learning upon these heads.
(To be concluded in our next.)
Account of a Sunday Friendly Society for the aged Poor at
Winston. By the Rer. Thomas Burgess, now Lord
Condition of the Poor.]
the county of Durham, in consequence of a suggestion of the bishop of Durham, a friendly society for the aged poor; the object of which is to proinote among them the due observance of the sabbath, the study of the Scriptures, and of other good books, and also frugality and good neighbourhood.
For this purpose, they make a point of attending church on Sundays, when not prevented by sickness, ipfirmity, or some unavoidable impediment; and also on other days, whenever they have an opportunity; they likewise agree not to countenance any games or improper pastimes on a Sunday, by looking on, or sitting near them, and to use all the influence which they possess, to dissuade others from profaning the Lord's day;--they meet every Sunday evening at each other's houses, for religious improvement: and make it a general rulé, 10 lay by every week something of their earning, to accumulate till the end of the year; allotting however a tenth part thereof, and of the benefit they derive from the society, towards the relief of any of their necessitous neighbours, who though not
belonging to the society)should appear to inerit their charitable assistance. They likewise agree to inake it their business to do every thing that in them lies, to promote good will
, good neighbourhood, and Christian one amongst another. The following are the rules of the society. is sixty years of age or upwards.
1: Any person may be a member of the society, who 2. Every subscriber of one penny per week, who is sixty years of age, or upwards, and under seventy, to be entitled to receive double his subscription, at the end of
year; that is, his own subscription, and as much 3. Every subscriber of one penny per week, who is