Page images
PDF

Conservative associations are formed, and forming, in various parts of the kingdom ; and without undervaluing their utility, or wishing by any means to check their exertions, I beg to submit, that by far the most important purposes for which Churchmen can associate, are those embraced by our Societies for Building and Enlarging Churches, for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and Propagating the Gospel. And I wish once more, Mr. Editor, to commend the cause of these invaluable institutions to the affectionate regards and sympathies of my fellowChurchmen, believing, as I unfeignedly do, that we cannot take a surer step for furthering the interests of the Church of England, than in making her societies known, and sedulously promoting the respective objects for which they were established.

I have not time (neither is it necessary,) to enlarge on all the good the societies have been instrumental in effecting, are effecting, and still purpose, by God's blessing, to accomplish. I would dwell rather on the happy effects which may be expected to arise to ourselves individually, and the Church generally, from the mere union of Churchmen in support of the objects which it is the business of our societies to contemplate: for Churchmen are a numerous and a powerful body, but they are too unconnected—too little assimilated in sentiment, and too easily induced to form associations and connexions which have no tendency to promote Church discipline, or cement the bonds of christian fellowship. Churchmen, too, are far too little acquainted either with the spiritual wants of their brethren, or with the inability of the Church and her societies, sufficiently to supply them. Now, in the present emergency, I believe that the very best means that can be devised for strengthening the Church of England, is to call forth the energies of her sons, and make them availing to the all-important objects of her three chief societies— all of which are using the most consistent and legitimate means for the realization of their designs. Externally we should thus raise up a barrier against the inroads of liberalism, popery, and infidelity; and present such a solid phalanx, as the enemies of the Church would be afraid and ashamed to contend against. And internally, we should be silently strengthening the convictions of her members—increasing their religious knowledge—making them better citizens and better Christians, and securing their affections for that Church, of whose maternal solicitude for their welfare they are not sufficiently aware. We should also be taking right steps for " turning disobedient children to the wisdom of the just," " for bringing into the way of truth those who have erred, and are deceived," and be in a position to receive a propitious answer to our daily prayer, that "God's kingdom may come, and his will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Thus, too, we should draw down upon ourselves the blessing and protection of Heaven; and, amidst the storms and agitations of the world, be safe within the confines of that spiritual ark, against which the Divine promise is, that the floods of ungodliness shall not prevail. In a word, whilst repelling the enemy without, we should be strengthening the citadel within, and fulfilling all the high behests, of which, as a christian community, it is no less our duty than our privilege to seek the accomplishment.

And though among some persons the great duties of personal religion may seem to merge themselves into a concern for the well-being of others; and though, in some cases, there is too much reason to fear that such may be the case, yet we ought not on that account to be deterred from making every possible effort to do good to those who may be around us, or at all within reach of our influence. Nor should we hesitate to propagate the gospel abroad because its good effects are not always discernible among those to whom it is preached at home. Every pastor should take special care to inculcate individual piety, and set forth its supreme importance; but, doing this, he should also strive to generate from its root that diffusive christian benevolence which has reference, first, to the dispersed and destitute members of the " household of faith," and then to those who are "afar off." And withal, a firm foundation being laid in the solid constitution of our societies, and their management and agency being committed to persons combining zeal with discretion, we should anticipate the best results, and boldly call for the support of all who claim membership with the Church, exhorting them to contribute nillingly according to the measure of ability with which God has blessed them. Nor should any means inconsistent with the sacred character of the societies, or at variance with the lofty and solemn work they have in hand, ever be resorted to to bring them into notice, or procure them patrons; neither should any ostentatious display of their concerns be countenanced, much less encouraged. The obligations to christian support should be made to rest entirely upon christian principles; and no unworthy or derogatory measures should ever be employed to recommend or enforce the societies' claims.

It is with these feelings, Mr. Editor, that I have ever urged the multiplication of district committees, and the adoption of periodical sermon preaching ;• and I am quite sure, that no better means can be used for promoting directly and indirectly all the objects we have in view. I would again, in conclusion, seriously and earnestly press the subject on the consideration of every bishop, Church dignitary, parochial minister, and layman, into whose hands these observations may fall. We may all do something; and if we have hitherto been careless and lukewarm about these matters, "let the constraining call which the signs of the times now make upon us, rouse our spiritual energies to a more enlightened judgment, and to worthier resolutions."-!- Let a grand stand be made against the encroachments of false doctrine, heresy, and schism; and let our Church Societies be made the channels of our bounty, and a focus in which the energies of the tvhole Church may be concentrated.

Thus marshalled in order, and, using right means for the accomplishment of our great purposes, humbling ourselves in the Divine presence, and seeking his blessing on our exertions; we may rest assured, that "no weapon formed against us shall prosper," that " enlargement and deliverance shall come to the Church," and the good pleasure of the Lord prosper in her hand.

I remain, Mr. Editor, your's very faithfully,

X.

• See Christian Remembrancer, p. 161, &c.

f Sermon by the Rev. H. H. Norris.—Ciiiiistian Remembrancer, p. 323.

POPERY.

Mr. Editor,—I wish to remark, first, that at a time when Popery is making rapid progress, openly and covertly, in the land, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, alive as it must be to the alarming circumstance, should immediately issue a variety of popular works to meet the emergency.

Secondly, I am anxious to express a hope that the suggestion of " A Presbyter,"* relative to the setting apart Sunday, 4th of October next, in celebration of the third centenary of the Reformation, will not only not be disregarded, but so cordially and spiritedly acted upon, as to realise all the good effects which such a jubilee may reasonably be expected to produce.

And thirdly, I desire further to suggest, that in order to maintain more effectually, and extend more generally, true Protestant principles, collections should be made on the day above mentioned in all churches and episcopal chapels, in behalf of the Societies for Building and Enlarging Churches, for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and for Propagating the Gospel.

Yours faithfully, Mr. Editor,

I.S.H.

THEOLOGICAL STUDIES.—No. XXIII. f

I. Answer to Inquiry as to a simple Course of Study preparatory to taking Holy Orders, with a few Hints for After-Study.

1. Keep up a general knowledge of the Old and New Testaments, while at college, by reading and hearing.

Purchase—The Family Bible (D'Oyly and Mant's).'

Mant's Common Prayer.

Cruden's Concordance.

Greek Testament.

Parkhurst's Greek and English Lexicon.

Tomline's Elements.

Paley's Evidences.

Watson's Apologies.

Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Deists.

Seeker's Lectures.

Nelson on the Fasts and Feasts..

Bishop Newton on the Prophecies.

Grotius de Verit. R. C.

Butler's Analogy. Before taking your degree, read the Four Gospels in Greek; and, by Sunday reading, you may easily make yourself acquainted with the above-mentioned books. Use the Family Bible for reading and

* See Christian Remembrancer for June, p. 358.

t The above list is taken from "Hints to Young Clergymen," by an Incumbent, &c. noticed in our Number for March, p. 152.

references, and Mant's Prayer Book. Study Tomline's Elements, Vol. I., for history, &c. of the Bible (Vol. II. is on the Thirty-nine Articles).

Read Paley's Evidences (his Natural Theology I presume you have already studied), and Leslie on Deism. Watson's Apologies will guard you against hastily assenting to infidel objections. Seeker's Lectures will give you a general view of christian doctrines and duties; and Nelson will inform you on the festivals, &c. of the Church. Grotius will prepare you for the latinity of theology. Read Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, omitting those on the Revelations; and, if you have time, Butler's Analogy.

Read also, occasionally, good sermons.*

II. Preparation for Deacon's Orders.

Presuming you have complied with the preceding suggestions before taking your degree of B.A., you should afterwards read the Bible regularly through, not stopping for every difficulty at first. Meantime read the Four Gospels and Acts, in Greek, with Elsley's Annotations.

You will obtain sufficient general knowledge of Scripture chronology and geography, Jewish sects, &c, in the first instance, from the short Introduction to Elsley's Annotations, Tomline's Elements, and Beausobre's Introduction; or from Home's Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures.

Study the Prayer Book carefully through, in Mant's. edition, attending to the Rubric, &c.

Read Burnet on the Thirty-nine Articles; (or, if you find this too much at first, read Tomline, Vol. II. again.) Pearson on the Creed (not paying particular attention to the notes and controversial matter, the first time; only, then, mind you read Burnet and Pearson carefully afterwards.) Newton on the Prophecies, if not read before. Butler's Analogy, which requires very careful study. The Clergyman's Instructor, especially Burnet's Pastoral Care, and Bishops Bull and Taylor's Advice to the Clergy, &c. Archbishop Seeker's Five Sermons against Popery (though, indeed, the works on the Thirty-nine Articles will inform you on these points). Sumner's Apostolical Preaching. Read also some good Sermons, as those of Seeker, Home, and Barrow; and devotional Works, as Jeremy Taylor's Holy Living and Dying, the Whole Duty of Man, Bishop Wilson's Sacra Privata, &c.; and study well the Ordination Services; and, for matters of form and business,'' preparatory to ordination, Hodgson's Instructions to the Clergy.

III. Preparation for Priest's Orders.

Read the Greek Testament, especially the Epistles, with Slade's Annotations, and Paley's Horce Paulinee. Macknight on the Epistles will give you much information, and call your attention to their meaning

* I do not recommend the study of these books to those only who are afterwards to offer themselves as candidates for holy orders. Every gentleman should consider it a part, and an important part, of his employment, hnfore taking his degree, to make himself acquainted with the history, evidences, and doctrines of his religion.

VOL. XVII. NO. VII. 3 K

by a new translation; which translation, however, will show you, at the same time, the general excellence and superiority of the authorized version.

You may as well now have Griesbach's Edition of the New Testament; and the Septuagint; and Schleusner's Lexicons to the Old and New Testaments; also, ToninsencTs Arrangement of the Old and New Testaments, in chronological order; and Home's Introduction, of which, read Vols. I., III., and IV.; Vol. II. may stand over a little, if you are pressed for time. The Homilies and Canons. Encheiridion Theologicum, a very admirable collection of tracts, all deserving a careful reading. Archbishop Seeker's Charges. Dr. Nichols's Defence of the Church of England, a valuable and useful work, containing much information in a very short compass.

If you have time for more reading, you may supply the deficiency of the preceding lists from the following one.

Some knowledge of Ecclesiastical History should be acquired, if possible.

IV. A few Hints for After-Study.

The Scriptures—With Patrick, Lowth, and Whitby's Commentary, and the Septuagint Version, and Hammond on the New Testament.

Van Mildert's Bampton Lectures, on the Interpretation of Scrip-
ture.

Home's Critical Introduction, and Davison's Discourses on
Prophecy.

Poole's Synopsis, and Wolfii Curas Philological, &c.

The Prayer-book—With Shepherd, Wheatly, and Nichols.—(Wheatly, though popular, has some errors, which Shepherd corrects. Shepherd's is, however, an imperfect work. Nichols's is a learned and valuable book, though much encumbered with paraphrase.)

Nichols's Defence, &c.

Palmer's Origines Liturgicae (a valuable work).

Waterland on the Athanasian Creed.

The Articles—Burnet again, and Archbishop Laurence's Bampton Lectures (a very important work, which will satisfy you that they are not Calvinistic, and inform you as to the theological language and opinions of the time when they were written.) Sylloge Confessionum, &c.

For the Sacraments—Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, book v.

Archbishop Cranmer's Defence of the Doctrine of the Sacrament

(republished by Todd, 1825).
Waterland on the Eucharist.
Bethell on Regeneration.
Wall's Infant Baptism.

« PreviousContinue »