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the Christian Preacher in the choice of such books as may be most useful to him in his great work; and among these we must reckon as the principal, those which abound with theological information in reference to fundamental principles, or such as discover the happiest method of bringing divine truths to the heart, and from thence to the life. This part of the list is therefore the most copious.
It is obvious, the subjoined Catalogue contains a much greater number of books than can be supposed indispensably needful for the generality of young divines, who may be useful and respectable ministers, with a library on a much more contracted scale. A great diversity of circumstances should be taken into the account, especially pecuniary means and literary attainments. The thoughtful student, or young minister, should call Prudence to his aid, and inquire (Quid ferre recusent, quid valeant humeri) what suits his genius and abilities, and how he can bear the weight of expence. Perhaps it would not be a proportion much amiss' were we to say that a learned and studious minister in a private station, making an allow
ance for extraordinary cases, should compute the furniture of his beloved study, including books, helps, and conveniences, at one half of the whole furniture of his house. And the greatest part of this ought to be the best books in divinity. His delightful study should be to him what the counting-house is to the industrious merchant, or the laboratory to the successful chemist; and skill in the use of books, especially the Book of God, for a Divine, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, is not less necessary than skill in the forms of business is to a tradesman, or dexterity in the use of an apparatus to an experimental philosopher. Nor should the presumptuous thought be once harboured, that the use of books, whether few or many, is to supersede prayer for gracious aids; but rather to assist our graces, and to improve our gifts.
I am fully sensible, that persons who have different views of religion from those contained in this volume, will not be pleased with the selection, but will condemn it as Calvinistically partial; my apology is, that it comports with the views of such men as Wilkins and Watts,
Jennings and Doddridge, Franck and Claude: a partiality that suited the taste of men equally illustrious for learning and goodness, the greatest ornaments of the Christian Pulpit, and the richest Benefactors of Mankind.
Rotherham, October, 1800.
ON THE GIFT OF PREACHING:
§ 1, Introduction. The importance of the art of preaching. § 2, One chief reason why good scholars and divines are often bad preachers. § 3, What is implied in the Gift of Preaching. § 4. (I.) Concerning METHOD. § 5, Different kinds of Method, and which preferable. § 6, The parts of a sermon according to its external form; and more essential parts. § 7 (i.) Explication. Of opening the text. 8, Of texts which have a double sense. § 9, One great help of interpreting the books of Scripture is to know their times, references, and order. § 10, Of explaining words and phrases. §11, Doctrinal observations. § 12, Of stating the subject, whether doctrinal or practical. § 13 (ii.) Confirmation of the subject proposed; in doctrinal points, from Scripture and reason. § 14, In practical, from Divine Testimony. 15, From Reason ; and (16) Experience. 17 (iii.) Of the Application, both (18) Doctrinal, and (19) Practical, for reproof. § 20, Consolation and (§ 21). Exhortation. §22, The conclusion. § 23 (II.) Concerning MATTER, which ought to be seasonable and (§ 24) Pertinent. To promote which are proposed several helps; particularly (§ 25) Reading and the knowledge of books. § 26 (111.) Concerning EXPRESSION; which must be