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PREFACE. milks HE following LETTER, wherein I have given Directions for Studying a general Syftem or Body of Divinity, was written ins the Tear 11705, at the Request of a -young Gentleman, to whom, as the Beginning fhews, I had made a Promife of it
Whilst it lay by me, I beftand fome leifure Hours in correcting it; and at length. I have determin'd to make it Public. Because I conceive, that fomething of this Nature is much wanted; and I have "been encouraged to hope, that this imperfect Attempt will be Serviceable, till a more exact performance fball render it Useless.
The Texts relating to the Duty of the Clergy, which were barely named in the Original LETTER, I have printed at large. By this Means, without the Trouble of turning over his Bible, the Reader will be furnish d with proper Matter for ferious Reflections on Days of Retirement.
I have fubjoined fuch Directions for Studying the Thirty nine Articles of Religion, as will, if I mistake not, fet them in a different Light, and give a more diftinct and particular View of them, than may be found elsewhere. Such as have Opportunity, may compare (if they pleafe) what others have written on them.
I have been forc'd to add St. Jerom's Epifle to Nepotianus; because 'tis not to be met with, that I remember, otherwife than amongst his Works, or in Some Collection of his Epiftles, which all Perfons can't command the Ufe of.
The Nature of my Defign confin'd me to a very few Books; fuch as might plentifully inftruct, and yet not difcourage or overburden, young Beginners. 'Twas therefore impoffible for me to mention many excellent ones, which every Body efteems, and for which none has a jufter Value than my felf. This made my Choice difficult. I hope, it has not proved in many Instances unhappy. The whole Number of them may be bought for about Twelve Pounds, as will appear to those who confider the Catalogue.dicol
7Hereas in the following Papers I have made fome References to the Second Part of the Rights of the Clergy, which is now printing, but have omitted the Numbers of the Chapters, because I have already found it neceffary to alter the Divifion of them during the Working of the Prefs: I do hereby promife, that when that Book is printed off, which fhall be as faft as my Circumftances will fuffer me to attend the doing of it, I will give fuch a Table a the End of it, as fhall direct the Reader how to make the Figures of Reference with his Pen, without prejudicing his Copy of this Book.
HE Occafion of this Letter. Page 1
Some things prefuppofed in the Student.
A Compendium or Syftem generally esteemed necef Jary.
Seven things premised relating to the Method preferibed by the Author.. ibid, First, An Inconvenience attends the tacking together the Writings of different Perfons. ibid, Secondly, Some Repetitions are unavoidable in this 6
Method. Thirdly,The Author fametimes differs in bis Judgment from the Perfons whofe Books he recommends. ibid. Fourthly, All the Texts that are alleg'd, must be exa, mined in the Original.
Fifthly, The Student must not read too fast. Sixthly, The Student must recollect and digeft, what he reads upon any Branch of Divinity. & Seventhly, He must join Devotion with Study. ibid. Of the Being and Attributes of God, and of Natu ral Religion.
Of the Truth of Chriftianity.
That the Books of the New Testament were written by
Thirdly, With respect to the Hypothefis of the Ma-
Of Predeftination, Free Will, Grace, univerfal Re-