IMPRIMATVR:

HAving perused the following Advices, I conceive them suita­ble and convenient for the use of the persons concerned respectively; And I do accordingly Recommend them to the use of such young Students in the UNIVERSITY as design the Study of Divinity, or the susception of HOLY ORDERS; And to all others that shall desire to engage themselves in that HOLY FUNCTION. And that they may be communicated with more advantage, I do hereby License them to be Printed and Published.

JA: ARMACHANUS.

Two Letters OF ADVICE,

  • I. For the Susception of HOLY ORDERS▪
  • II. For STUDIES THEO­LOGICAL, especially such as are Rational.

At the end of the former, is inserted, a Catalogu [...] of the Christian Writers, and genuine Worke that are extant of the first three Cent [...]rice.

[...]. S. Chrysost. de Sacerdot. L. VI.

DVBLIN, Printed by Benjamin To [...]k [...], Printer to the Kings Most Excellent Majesty; and are to be sold by Joseph Wilde MDCLXXII.

To the Most Reverend Father in God, JAMES, by Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of ARMAGH, Primate and Metropolitane of all IRELAND, and Vice-Chancellor of the VNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN.

My LORD,

YOU are so many wayes Entitled to the Patro­nage of the ensuing Ad­vices, as I do not know how I [Page] could be just in omitting this oc­ [...]sion of a publick acknowledg­ [...]ent of it. For whether the Subject be considered, as relating either to Conscience or Learning, you have a right of judging all concernments of either kind: the former as Metropolitane, and consequently as the supreme Guide of Conscience under God in the Church of Ireland; the later as Vice-Chancellor of our Vniversi­ty, in which regard you are most justly interessed in the fruits and seeds of your own cultivation: or the persons concerned, they are all of them such as depend on your direction, and therefore the rules for whose behaviour ought [Page] most properly to be communica­ted to them by your recommen­dation: or my self, as you have upon all occasions given eviden­ces of your favour to me, so more signally in this affair, by first advising this publication, and af­ter honouring it with your own License and approbation. How­ever presumptuous the attempt might seem, in other regards, yet to a Judge so candid and favoura­ble, as I have alwayes found your Grace to be, the innocence and sincerity of my design for resto­ring Christianity to her primitive splendor, may suffice to excuse, if not expiate, appendent impru­dences. For your Grace alrea­dy [Page] understands too well to be in­formed by me, how vain it is to attempt a Reformation of the Laity whilest the Clergie is not held in that Reputation by them which might provoke them to an imitation of their example; and how little hopes there are of re­triving that Reputation without a Reformation of their lives and a restitution of their discipline, which would prove the most ex­pedient means to let such persons who either cannot, or will not, distinguish betwixt the Sacred­ness of their Office and their per­sonal demerits, understand the un­expressible usefulness of their Calling being piously and con­scientiously [Page] discharged in order to the most momentous and most noble ends of mankind. And that a preconsideration must needs prove more successful in promo­ting this industry in practice, which would, by way of obvi­ous consequence, restore their honour, than any postnate advi­ces as being likely to prevent the engagement or admission of such persons who would not after­wards be capable of such impres­sions; and that it is more secure for the persons concerned to let them understand the personal and habitual qualifications necessary for rendring their duty perfor­mable by them than afterwards [Page] to admonish them concerning particulars, when it is too late to retire, how unsuitable soever the practice prove to their personal qualifications, will not, I think, be doubted by any intelligent consi­derative person. This is my design in the former of the sub­sequent Letters, the usefulness and convenience whereof is fur­ther cleared in the Letter it self, and has not, that I know of, been attempted by any other. If it had, I should very willing­ly have spared my own pains. My manner of performance al­so has been at once to shew the Ad [...]ces rational and to have been designed by our Church, that [Page] so it might be fitted for all sorts of concerned Readers, both such as are able to judge it them­selves, and such as are not. I have therefore ordered the whole in such a series of discourse as that the sequel must needs be ad­mitted by him who has granted the principles lay'd down at the beginning; and the first principle is that which the Church her self first enquires into, even a Provi­dential Call from God, or a motion of the Spirit, as far as that may be credited without danger of Enthusiasme; and accordingly the inferences have generally been examplified in such instances as have been approved by our [Page] Church since her reformation, that so I might, as well as I was able, prevent objections against my design from the inconsiderableness of my person, an artifice too usual­ly, as it is weakly and unreaso­nably, made use of for the de­feating the most commendable projects. The objection in it self is in truth so very little mo­mentous as that I should not think it worthy to be taken no­tice of, if I were not more soli­citous for my cause than my per­son. But seeing it is so obvious in the way of persons that may be concerned to cross my design, and withall so taking with the vulgar, I doubt it will concern [Page] me even in prudence to crave your Graces patience for a brief Apology. Omitting therefore my own justification, which I confess a task too great for my weak a­bilities (though if I did under­take it on a publick account, I might for an excuse of such im­modesty, urge the example of the great Apostle, who, out of tenderness for his cause, was (as himself confesses) necessitated to such a folly) yet I conceive it un­denyable that the merit of the cause is abundantly sufficient to compensate the demerit of my person, and for my part, so that the cause may not be prejudiced, I shall very heartily submit the [Page] choice of Instruments to the plea­sure of God himself. Besides further that it is extreamly un­reasonable to urge personal deme­rits against a cause. Indeed if the cause had been recommended on personal regards, the disparage­ment of the person might have invalidated such a recommendati­on. But considering that no­thing here is pretended, but the solidity of the reasons submitted to an impartial examination; none can say that they are the weaker for being propounded by an un­worthy person. Neither indeed is the supposal true, that even in point of Authority any thing here is recommended onely by my pri­vate [Page] person; for having shewn it in every particular approved and designed by the Church, it must needs be supported by her Au­thority, which may well be pre­sumed sufficient for the design in­tended, the general reformation of her Clergie. But I must thank­fully acknowledge that your Grace has in a great measure freed me from these personal odi­um's by undertaking the Patro­nage of these otherwise despisable attempts. For none can now pretend themselves unconcerned in the Advice of a Laick or a private person when the supreme Metropolitane has not onely thought it convenient, but recom­mended [Page] it. This is the reason that necessitated me to take San­ctuary in your Graces Patronage, wherein I dare more confidently promise my self a kind reception because you have encouraged it. Yet am I not herewith satisfied; but as necessitous persons are usu­ally emboldened to new requests by past concessions; so, in order to the desired success of these Pa­pers, I further beg a favour, grea­ter and more efficacious than the greatest munificence of the most potent Temporal Princes, though less impoverishing, and that is your Fatherly blessing and Pray­ers for these and the other Studies and endeavours of

Your Graces most obliged and obsequious servan [...] H. D.

A PRAEFACE To the READER, Containing some necessary Advertisements prepara­tory to the ensuing Discourses.

HOW much the reputation of Religion is concerned in the honour of its relatives, especi­ally the persons teaching and professing it, as it has been the sense of all prudent Nations, so it is too evident from the experience of ours. For if we seriously reflect on that Irreligion [Page] and Atheism which has lately so overrun that part of the Gentry who have had that freedome of education as to discern beyond the grosser superstitions of the credulous vul­gar, and yet wanted that depth and solidity of judgment, or that industry and diligence, which had been requisite for a positive sa­tisfaction, concerning the true measures of things; I think there cannot be a more probable Original assigned for it, than this of the contempt of the Clergie. For when upon pretence of a maintenance of their Christian liberty, some persons of a better meaning than Information, were seduced by their more subtilly-designing Leaders to resist some indifferent Constituti­ons of their Superiors; they found them­selves obliged in pursuance of their prin­ciples to call in Question their whole Au­thority. For considering that they were not any particular abuses of a just Authori­ty, not any bare inexpediency in the Ceremo­nies already established (for which Gover­nours, not Subjects, had been responsible, and for which a redress ought to have been desired by Subjects in a modest and peaceable way, which, if denyed, could not have justified a separation, seeing that no­thing under sin can excuse that, and a con­descension to Superiors in confessed inex­pediencies cannot be proved a sin) but the very Authority by which they had been [Page] established; and finding further that this Authority was of that kind that was in­deed intrinsecally involved in all exercise of Government, so that it was impossible to plead and exception of duty upon sup­posal that their Superiors had transgressed the bounds of their just power; they per­ceived themselves reduced to this extremi­ty to justifie their own disobedience by a renunciation of their Authority. For in­deed all Government must needs prove use­less that is denyed a power of imposing tem­porary obligations, and that power must needs be denyed where all things necessary are supposed antecedently determined, and what is not so is thought uncapable of any just determination. Having therefore thus devested the Clergie of all power properly so called, yet that they might seem to at­tribute something to the eminency of their place in the Church, they were wil­ling to allow a power of perswading such as were willing to obey, onely with this difference (that I can perceive) from the meerest Laick, that Laicks might perswade others to piety, but Clergiemen must; that it was charity in them, but duty in these; that it was onely the general Calling of those, but the particular of these; that the Laity might discharge it privately, but the publick performance of it was onely per­mitted to the Clergie. This seems to have [Page] been the uttermost design of their most ancient Patriarchs, none of them, that I know of, ever enduring to hear of any Laical encroachments on the Calling it self. But whilest they were so Studious in opposing their established Superiours, and so careless of better provisions for that un­settlment themselves had introduced in­to the Church, or the ill consequences of their own attempts; they unawares un­dermined their own foundations, and ex­posed themselves to the same encroach­ments from the Laity which themselves had attempted on their settled Governours. For least any veneration of their Calling mi [...]h [...] render their perswasions themselves so awful as not to admit of any easie contra­diction, which might still preserve some dis­cipline and dependence of the Laity upon them; themselves had furnished the usurp­ing Laity with such pretences as that, that reverence it self must needs prove very in­considerable. For first, they had opposed professedly all difference betwixt the Cler­gie and Laity, and indeed all relative Holy­ness, as Popish and Antichristian, and tend­ing to the usurpation of a Lordship over Gods Heritage; so that now there was no­thing left to the Clergie that might as much as challenge a respect of the Laity but their personal skill in the objects of their Profession, which both left the unskilful [Page] Clergie destitute of any pretence of chal­lenging reverence; and was no curb to the more skilful Laity; and indeed in the event made them perfectly equal, seeing that the skilful Laity might as well challenge respect from the unskilful Clergie, as the skilful Clergie from the unskilful Laity, their order being indeed no ingredient in the ground of such a challenge. Besides secondly, their making the Scriptures an adequate Rule for all prudential establishments, and obliging the Laity to a particular enquiry into the merit of Ecclesiastical Constitutions, even in probable, as well as certain, senses of the Scripture, not as much as advising a modest acquiescency in the judgment of the Clergie even in things they do not under­stand, nor indeed letting them understand their incompetency in any case where they might hope for the assistance of a more able guide (for indeed that pretence of under­standing the Scripture by its internal light, or by the Spirit whereby it was written, or by prayer without urging the use of ordina­ry means, the methods of expounding the Scriptures so celebrated among them, seem extremely to favour Enthusiasm, and to supersede the necessity of an exterior guide) these pretences, I say, seem to deprive the Clergie of the Authority even of proponents, which is the least that can be imagined, and therefore of all respect on this regard, [Page] and therefore must needs degrade them to [...] with the Laity, in all which way of proceeding every later Sect argued rationally and consequently from the Princi­ples of the first Innovators. The Laity therefore having such specious consequent pretences for their independence on the Clergie, and yet the Clergie still insisting on their Original claim, it was obvious to con­ceive with what jealousie and partiality their proceedings herein must be censu [...]ed by the Laity now conceiving themselves as Adversaries concerned to maintain their liberty against the conceived usurpations of the Clergie. And finding the Clergie to be interessed in the Controversies, both as to the honour and obedience challenged by them, and as to that affluence of temporal fruitions which had been conferred on them by de­vout persons as suitable expressions of that honour; they did not make that use there­of, which in reason they ought, to enquire first, whether that private interest it self of the Clergie, were not coincident with the publick of the Church; or secondly, whe­ther it were not coincident with the truth, whereof if neither could appear upon a sober scrutiny; but that the arguments for the contrary were found either evident or more probable, then indeed, and not till then, it might be presumed that interest might have an influence in their determina­tion. [Page] But, as the vulgar is very willing to censure, and yet very loth to undergo the trouble of a laborious enquiry, so they have made the Cler [...]ies interest a prejudice against their cause; so that now their arguments are either not heard (they not being pre­sumed competent Advocates for their own cause, and others not being concerned for them, as not being concerned with them) or if they be heard, yet with no indifferen­cy, the interest of the Clergie being thought inconsistent with that of the Laity: a way of proceeding not onely very unjust but very unreasonable, it being every way as weak to conclude a cause false as true on no other pretence but that of private interest. However this argument, such as it is, be­ing by prophane persons taken for granted from the concessions of the Religious Lai­ty, and they withall further discovering the unreasonableness of those persons who, upon pretence of honouring Religion had brought a contempt upon its principal pro­fessors and defenders; it was easie for them to conclude Religion it self dishonourable and suspicious from this repute of its chief­est Champions; for if what make; for the interest of the Clergie must immediately be condemned or suspected without any fur­ther enquiry, which is the unreasonable practice of the vulgar, then the prophane person finding Religion in general conducive [Page] to this purpose, and being brought into suspicious thoughts of the Clergie by the pretended discoveries of the greatest pre­tenders to Religion; it is obvious to con­ceive what consequences he will be likely to deduce thence to the prejudice of Reli­gion in general. Especially considering that this dishonour of the Clergie was like to invalidate the use of all coercive means for inducing the Laity to a practice of their duty, and so to leave them intirely to the influence of their own good natures, which though at first they might be heated into a zeal by way of Antiperistasis from the opposition of their Adversaries; yet upon their disappearing, that zeal which had onely been inflamed by aemulation, must, like Rome upon the demolition of Carthage, decay, and so their former li [...]en­tiousness will return with a violence propor­tionable to their former restraint. And when men are come to this extreme they will then be as much concerned that those threats of the Clergie which awaken their Consciences, and make them nauseate and disrelish the ploasures of their Sins, should be false, at least should be believed so by them­selves (which belief though false, may serve to stupifie their present sense) as they pre­tend the Clergie interessed in their truth, and therefore may be presumed as partial. And when men are willing and interessed to [Page] disbelieve Religion, how very weak reasons are sufficient to induce them to it, them­selves acknowledge when the case is not immediately applyed to themselves; there being no disparity to exempt disbelief from being as obnoxious to interest as that credu­lity so much decryed by them. Indeed any one that would consider the persons (that they are such usually as are not seri­ously addicted and though pretending to be w [...]s, yet not deeply considerative) or the weakness of the reasons, either tending to direct Scepticism, or undermining their own foundations, or arguing an unwillingness of conviction, would suspect this to have been the gradation of their disbelief. As it has therefore thus appeared both from reason and experience that this contempt of the Clergie does naturally tend to Atheism and Irreligion; so on the contrary the best prevention of these horrid consequences will be their restitution to their due respect and honour; which will best be performed by a praemonition of persons designing this Calling, that they may neither engage in what they are not able to effect, nor endea­vour a reformation of inconveniences when it is too late. This is the design of these Papers, which I hope all they who ground their hopes of present or future prosperity on their love of our Jerusalem, will conceive themselves obliged to further by their [Page] prayers or powers as God shall enable them.

But besides this first use which is very suitable to the necessities of this present age, there is also another of no small moment, the satisfaction of our well meaning separating brethren. For whatever other weak reasons are pretended (as indeed I think they would seem very weak to any prudent judi­cious indifferent persons that were convinced of the heinousness of that Sin of Schism which they are produced to excuse) yet I think they are the lives and unseriousness of some of our conformable Clergie, that are indeed their decretory arguments; for this indeed seems to be the great reason that makes them fancy our ministery less edify­ing than their own, because they come possessed with irreverence to their persons (for I do not perceive that themselves pretend the same difference in hearing such of ours for whom they have entertained a greater respect) and that negligence of [...] and unserious way of Preaching seem to be the true grounds of that irreverence. Now my way of defence is not the least to justifie their [...]ices or imprudences, or to de­fend their persons against publick justice (as they seem to misunderstand us, when they charge us with the Patronage of Pro­phaneness upon account of these persons) but to let them understand how little our Church is indeed concerned in their defence. [Page] For if the Character of a Clergieman here described answer the true design of the Church (as I have shewn that it does by Injunctions and Canons produced from her since her Reformation) then it will appear that such persons are so far unconformable as they are disliked (for it is plain the per­son here described can neither prove impious in his life, nor imprudent or trifling in his Preaching) and sure themselves will not think it equitable that our Church should be charged with the errors of non-confor­mists. The onely thing therefore that may seem blameworthy here is that the Canons of the Church are not executed on such persons with due severity. But neither will this excuse their separation; for first, they are not concerned to see this justice done so as to be obliged upon neg­lect of it to withdraw from our Communi­on. For neither do they suffer in a perso­nal regard, the ordinances administred by the irregular or imprudent Clergie, whilest permitted, not depending on their personal sanctity or prudence, and therefore being as efficacious to the well-disposed recipients as otherwise; nor are they entrusted with a publick charge, so as to be responsible for publick miscarriages when irremediable by them; and therefore secondly, all the blame of such connivances is to be layd, not on the Government, whose standing esta­blished [Page] Rules oblige them to a severer care, but on the Governours, who may also be charged with non-conformity when they do not act according to the Rules prescribed by them; and therefore it will be very unjust for these personal neglects to separate from their Government and Communion; especi­ally considering Thirdly, that separation on these regards is so far from preventing the inconvenience or remedying it, as that indeed it does but transfer the blame from the Governours to such Separatists (though they think to avoid it) by affording an Apology, by them unanswerable, to Governours for such personal neglects: ‘That the de­linquents cannot be perswaded to reform themselves, and that a power of perswa­ding onely is allowed them by these se­parating brethren; that even as to that coercive power challenged by themselves, yet it is not prudent to exercise it with­out any probable hopes of success, that be­ing the way to expose it to contempt, which in a power which has nothing to render it coercive but the Sacredness of its esteem in the opinion of the delinquent, may endanger the whole Authority, as the loss of that will occasion a general impunity, a much greater evil than any single inconveni­ence. And seeing the multitudes of Sects and Communions ready to receive a punish­ed delinquent, and the disparaging opinions [Page] introduced by them concerning Authority, may th [...], upon their principles, ex [...]use Governours from the execution of the Ca­nons, where the blame will afterwards ly themselves may understand without any suggestion of mine. I shall beseech them to bestow some serious and unprejudiced thoughts upon it.

Now though the following Advices be calculated principally for the use of the Clergie, who are more entrusted, and there­fore more obliged to caution on the account of the multitude who depend upon their conduct as well as themselves; yet are there several things proportionably useful for the Laity. For there is as much truth in that pretence of our Brethren for equalling the Laity to the Clergie as there was in that of the Rebellious Congregation of Corah, that all the people of God is holy, that Christians, as well as the Israelites, are called the1 S. Pet. V. 3. Lords Heritage, that Christ has made us all Rev. [...] 6. V. 10. xx. 6. Priests to God and his Father, that we are built up a holy 1 S. Pet. ii. 9. Priesthood to offer up spiritual Sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. And accordingly common Christi­ans are obliged to the same Offices to the Heathen common World as the Clergie are to the Laity: Thus they are to shew them a good example, to be lights in the World, to reprove and exhort delinquents, and to offer up rational Sacrifices for the whole World. [Page] And if they were to be received adult to the profession of Christianity, there would be the same care for purity of intention in Laicks as there is now in Clergiemen. Thus in the primitive times none were re­ceived to this profession, but they who had first given some evidences of their sincerity, either by enduring some rigorous initiatory penances, as was usually practiced in admis­sions to Pagan mysteries. Thus three moneths Fast was prescribed in the time of theRe­c [...]gn. I. III. & VI. Author of the Pseudo-Clementine Recogni­tions, and the Quadragesimal Fast was ap­pointed before the most ancient Anniversa­ry for Baptism, Easter; and Arnobius was not trusted till he had written in defence of the Christian Religion, and St. Cyril of Hie­rusalem in hisPras. & Catech III. Homilies to the compe­tentes is very earnest in urging the necessity of a sincere and cardinal intention; and from this great caution of admitting Heathens to an intuition of their mysteries, it was that after all indications of their sincerity even adults were not admitted without the Testi­mony of Susoeptors or Godfathers, persons of approved gravity and sincerity. And the same obligations are in reason incumbent now on those who are adult, though Bap­tized in their Nonage. If I were not un­willing to be tedious, it had been easie to have shewn in all the other qualifications how even private Christians are in their [Page] proportion obliged, though not in so emi­nent a degree, and rather excused from that by its impossibility to their circum­stances, than its unnecessariness. But that which I shall at present especially recom­mend to the perusal of the Laity, is Let­ter I. Numb. XXVI. where they may find such prescriptions as may prevent many dis­consolations in the practice of Piety to which the neglect of them does expose many seriously devout persons.

It has also by some worthy Friends been thought requisite for rendring the present attempt more useful for our Bri­tannick Churches, to recommend to the persons, concerned in these Advices, the Study of their Publick Records, the Homi­lies and Articles and Books of Ordination and Common Prayer, and Canons and Con­stitutions since the Reformation, though this indeed is easily reducible to that head of skill in all those Controversies that di­vide Communion; for this seems to have been the adaequate design of the Church herein to shew what she thought necessary to be believed, or, at least, not factiously contradicted by such as were to be admitted to her Communion. And for the better understanding her true sense in this affair, and its vindication from the misunderstand­ings of her Adversaries, it were very re­quisite to read the whole History of the [Page] Reformation, and to observe the sentiments and temper of the principal persons engaged therein; and by what kind of mediums her proceedings have been justified in the several Ages, and against the several Adver­saries, respectively. By this means you will best understand the difference betwixt her impositions; which of them were in­tended as conditions of Catholick Commu­nion, that is, as fundamentals; and which onely of her particular, that is as prudent and probable, and not obliging to an inter­nal assent but onely an exterior peaceable acquiescency (for certainly the Church in­tended some of both kinds) and the late way of requiring an external assent onely to the Articles indefinitely, without prescribing any prudential limitations, how far that is to be extended, and admitting a liberty of straining the Articles in favour of our own opinions, without any consideration of the Controversies therein designed by the Church, may be expounded so licentiously as to open a gap for the most pestilent haere­sies.

In the Second Letter, I confess many things in the improvement of the proposals there laid down, and in the Catalogues of Books, might have been more accurately enlarged, but that I conceived these suffi­cient to initiate a Novice, which I have there signified to have been my uttermost [Page] design, and I doubt whether it would be prudent to discourage beginners with the Prospect of too greater a task. In my cen­sure of School Divinity, there is one fundamental defect omitted, which I look on as so very considerable, and of so ex­tremely fullacious consequence to them that rely on it, and yet never observed, that I know of, that I thought it worthy a par­ticular mention here. That is, that the greatest and most Sacred▪ mysteries of the Trinity and Iucarnation are explained as to their Theological consequences from the principles of the Peripa [...]etick Philosophy as borrowed by them from the modern translati­ons and Commentaries of the Arabians. It is plain that all the use of Philosophy in affairs of this nature cannot be to discover any truth anew, but onely to explain the sense of the Authors delivering it, and that that Philosophy alone can be useful to this purpose, whose Language was observed by them; and that not Aristotle but Plato was then generally followed not onely by the generality of the Philosophers of that age, but in accommodation to them his Language observed by the Scriptures them­selves; especially St. John I. and by the generality of the Fathers, those of greatest repute in both the Occidental and Oriental Churches, the pretended Areopagite and St. Augustine himself, to whom the Schools are [Page] most beholden, St Basil, both St. Gregories Nazianzen and Nyssen. St. Chrysostome &c. So that this way of proceeding is lyable to two very fundamental mistakes (which should be studiously avoided in affairs of so great concernment) First of explaining Platonick language by Peripatetick Philosophy; Secondly of explaining the ancient Peripate­tick Philosophy by the present expositions of the modern Arabians. These with the other defects there mentioned would methinks invite some generous Advancers of Learn­ing to review the whole foundations of our Modern School-Divinity which would be an attempt becoming the ingenuity and inqui­siti [...]eness of the age we live in. And seeing I have taken this occasion of mentioning such a design; it may be it may not prove altogether unacceptable, perhaps something necessary to clear my meaning, to propose such a way of managing it, as I conceive most convenient, which I most willingly re­fer to the censures of persons more skilful and experienced. That I think would be First to distinguish accurately betwixt such Questions as are to be decided by reason, and such whose principles are either wholly or principally derived from Revelation. In the former the Schoolmen may be more se­curely trusted, their excellency lying in the closeness of their discourse. But here it self, it were well that their principles were [Page] reformed; especially in such an age as this is, care should be taken that nothing be taken up precariously upon the Authority of any however celebrated Philosopher (a pra­ctice too frequent among them) but what might sufficiently recommend it self by its own nature and intrinsick reasonableness. And then for those which are derived from Revelation it is plain that their whole de­cision must be derived from Testimonies ei­ther of Scripture or Ecclesiastica [...]l Authors, the producing whereof seems to be the principal dosign of the Master of the Sen­tences; though some things are added in the Sums concerning Prophesie and the Cere­monial Law. Concerning these therefore it seems to me expedient that some excel­lent persons skilled not onely in Ecclesiasti­cal but Rabbinical and Philosophical learn­ing, and indeed generally in Oriental Philo­ [...]logy, would undertake a Historical account of them; wherein he should First shew Historically how the whole Article was be­lieved and taught in the several Ages of the Church, what forms of speaking were used by the Fathers concerning it, how it was expressed, and how much concerning it be­lieved in its first simplicity, how afterwards additional explanations were introduced and by what degrees: what was the first occasion of the several Controversies, who were their principal Haeresiarchs, how they were dis­posed [Page] in their manners and how addicted [...] the Studies, wherein their Haeresies [...] truly consist, whether in the perniciousn [...] of their Doctrines, or their factious mann [...] of propagating them to the prejudice [...] the Churches peace. If in the pernicious­ness of their Opinions; then it were we [...] it were shewn First what those opinion were as near as could be from the Haeretick own words; and Secondly upon what [...]casion first entertained; and Thirdly [...] what degrees promulged; and Fourthly by what arguments deseaded, and among them which were principal, and which onely se­condary and accessary; and Fifthly by what success [...], by whom seconded, and by whom [...] Sixthly by what degrees [...] First by what Fathers, Second­ly by what [...], and Thirdly by what [...]; and how all their proceedings were [...]esented by the Catholick Church [...] and in all these degrees of [...] First how far both parties [...], and wherein they [...] Secondly as to their differences, to shew what was condemned as pernicious (and among them what was counted more and what less pernicious) and what onely as improbable, for it seems plain that many errors of Haereticks were not counted Hae­resies; and Thirdly the degrees of unani­mity in the Church in her censures: what [Page] censures were generally received and confirm­ed by the Catholick Church [...]; what onely by her representative, in general Coun­cils; what onely by particular Churches in Provincial; what onely by particular persons, how numerous or [...] soever; and [...]ou [...]thly the arguments alledged in defence of the Ecclesiastical censures, especially such of them on which the Churches resolution was principally grounded, and of which her Champions were most confident; and indeed if these were judiciously chosen, I think it would not be amise if the weaker were quite omitted, both because they are per­fectly unnecessary as depending entirely on the conclusiveness of the others, and invol­ved in the same success; and because with some Cavillers who are glad of any occasi­ons of carping they might prejudice the principal cause, there being no more politick way for betraying the Truth in so [...] an Age as this than to offer to defend it by unconclusive arguments. And the same way of proceeding may be proportionably ap­plyed to Theological questions of meaner concernment. When thus the matter of Fact had been thus plainly represented, it would then be seasonable to proceed to a positive judgment according to these Histo­rical evidences. And in order hereunto it would be further expedient to consider the first Originals of every [...], what [Page] foundation every Article had in the actual belief of the persons to whom it was re­vealed, antecedently to the Revelation, and therefore how the Revelations were likely to be understood by them; which being discovered, then to examine in the Second place what might be deduced concerning the whole Article from such Originals, whether Pagan Philosophy, or opinions or practices prevailing among the Rabbinical Jewes, or the Hellenists, for whose use the Scriptures were principally designed. When this is done, then it would be convenient, Thirdly to compare the Article so explain­ed with the Scriptures as understood by the Primitive Fathers, to see how far it was approved, and where corrected and amended by Revelation. And this may be proporti­onably applyed, not onely to the primitive doctrines of the Church, but also, to her later explications and modes of expressions opposed to the several Haereticks opposing it. Concerning which the method of accurate enquiry would require that First it were examined whether onely the doctrine were pretended derived from their ance­stors, or also their own explications and phrases of expressing it. If onely the doctrine, then to examine whether indeed the expressions of the Ancients concerning it were aequivalent with their own. If also the individual expressions, then to exa­mine [Page] the sense of the Ancients concerning such expressions and the Authors that used them by the Rules already propounded concerning the decrees of the Church against H [...]ereticks; and whether they used them in the same sense as afterwards. When materials were thus prepared, and the Truth thus discovered, which must needs suppose a considerable volumin [...]usness, and probably some difference of opinion in the diversity of Auhors requisite to be employed on so great a Task; then it would be further seasonable toar [...] some judicious and prudent persons should reduce the whole to a Com­pendium, (which might serve as a Text for Scholastical disputes, instead of Lom­bard) with references to the larger Treati­ses that they might be more readily con­sulted on occasion. And the best way of contriving this would, I think, be to distin­guish this Compendium into two parts: the former of Natural, and the later of revea­led theology, where every thing might be reduced to its pr [...]ter principles. Many other expediencies hereof might have been men­tioned, as present I shall onely mention one which I conceive m [...]re considerable. That is, that hereby persons might not be invi­ted to meddle beyond their abilities; for the Principles of these two parts have so little mutual dependence on each other, and the natural endowments requisite in the [Page] persons that should undertake them are so very different, and so rarely conjoyned in one person (a rational judgment without much reading being sufficient for that Divinity which is purely natural; and much reading and a tenacious memory and a Philological Critical judgment being requisite for that which is revealed) that it is no way conve­nient that every one who might attempt the rational part, though with very excel­lent success, should immediately, without consideration of his own abilities, presume himself fit to venture on the other that concerns Revelations. And indeed any sober considerative person may easily ob­serve how untoward the Rotionalists of this Age who dee [...]y Book-learning prove when they are engaged on a Subject that requires reading, what improper notiors they impose on terms they do not under­stand, how strangely they misrepresent their Adversaries meaning, disputing many times against [...] of their own brains, how difficully they yield to that which would not once be scrupled by skil­ful persons, how in answering they propose such possible cases as are perfectly destitute of all actual probability. And a propor­ [...]ionable slightness is ordinarily [...] in the rational discourses of great [...] though I confess some very excellent per­sons have been accurate in both; but such [Page] instances, being more rare, cannot preju­dice the general Rules we are now dis­coursing of. Then in both parts it were well (in imitation of Origen [...].) to premise First what Propositions in every Article were to be taken for unquestionable, as being evident from Reason or Revelation as explained by Tradition; and it would be more useful if it were distinctly shewn what kind of evidence agreed to every Proposition particularly. For thus what were self evident from natural reason might be relyed on in disputes against even Athe­ists that are not Sceptical (and they that are destroy all discourse as denying all Prin­ciples) what were clearly consequent from the notion of a Deity and Providence, would be of force against our modern Pagan Theist [...]s, and all persons admitting such a thing as Religion; what were clear from Old Testament Revelations could not be de­nyed by the Jewes, especially if so expound­ed, and that unanimously by their own Rab­bins, what were clear from the New Testa­ment must be owned by all Christians that admit of it, even those that extend its perfection to all indifferent puncti [...]; what were clear from it as expounded by primi­tive Catholick Tradition, might be taken for granted against all such as were willing to stand to that tryal; and lastly that which had no other evidence than the actual de­finition [Page] of the Church how groundlesly soe­ver, could onely be made use of against such persons as are for a blind obedience to such a Church without examining the rea­sons of such definitions. And in all these instances it were well to note what were indeed evident from such Principles, and what were also admitted for such by the Persons acknowledging such Principles, which would be f [...]rther [...]ery considerable in order to the success, seeing many things may be indeed rational, yet not a knowledg­ed such by the persons concerned▪ Yet I do not intend that every person should be permitted to dispute each of the [...]e things publickly as professing his own diss [...]faction concerning them, but that they who are called to it P [...]videntially (as in this Age frequent occasions will occ [...]r) in order to the satisfaction of o [...]hers may have a ready Pr [...]m [...]tuary to have recourse unto in time of necessity. Otherwise the Church ought, as a Church, to prescribe the belief of some things as a necessary condition of her Com­munion. When these principles were th [...]s methodically disp [...]sed, it would then be sea­sonable to improve them in the Controver­sies whose free discussion might be tolera­ted among good and peaceable Christians, if among these a caution were had for the re­trenching such as were unnecessary and une­difying. This way, if it were prudently [Page] managed would not onely afford solid prin­ciples for the Schools, but also lay the most probable foundation for the reunion of Christendome. For if things were thus ac­curately enquired into, I verily believe, Governours would find a necessity of remit­ting their rigour in several impositions, and Subjects would discover the great necessity of obedience and the no-necessity of those reasons produced for their separation. But I must confess the work is too great to be attempted by private persons how conside­rable soever, and therefore would require not onely the patronage but also the cen­current industry of Governours; and by how much the greater the Authority were that countenanced it by so much the more like­ly it would be to thrive. For great free­dome were requisite in the correction of present, errors, and that could not be so safe­ly trusted to the management of private persons, and would be received with less envy and faction from the Church, and would not prove a precedent for any factious Innovations. Onely I must confess that the doctrine of Infallibility whilest main­tained will hardly be reconcileable with a candid review of what has been already, though never so erroneously, received. But First even among them, it were well they distinguished what had been decided by the Church from what had not been so; [Page] and Secondly even among them abuses, ne­ver so universally received, if not Canonical­ly decided, might be reformed; and Third­ly considering that a preservation of their Authority and a prevention of Innovations, which they conceive effectually performa­ble onely by that pretence, seem to be their principal inducements to it, may be thus provided for by being themselves the Authors of such Reformation; it may be they might not [...] it so inexpedient to yield even this which seems to be the principal cause that makes our breaches irreconcilea­ble. And certainly if it would please God to inspire Governours with a serious and in­dustrious, and candid, yet active Spirit for the service of the Church much more might be done, that is, for the Restoration of Religion, and unity, and the prevention of those daily scandalous, both O [...]inions, and Practices, which all good Christians do so seriously deplore; and that he would be pleased to do so their con [...]ederated prayers and endeavours might be very avail­able.

Letter I. CONTENTS.

THE Introduction. Numb. I. The design of the following Ad­vices. II. The danger of miscarriage in the Clerical Calling, the consequent necessi­ty of a Call from God for un­dertaking it; how we are to judge of this Call in a rational way, the general requisites there­unto. III. The first requisite, A pure Intention, what it is, and how to be tryed. IV. V. VI. [Page] The second requisite, Natural Gifts, how we may hence con­clude a Calling. VII. Why these Gifts are called Natural. What they are that necessary in regard of knowledge. All Theological knowledge not sim­ply necessary for every ordinary Parochian, but what is more immediately practicall. Men are to be fitted for further knowledge by the practice of what they know already. VIII. The great use and probable suc­cessfulness of this Method in reducing Hereticks or Schis­maticks. IX. The knowledge of a Clergieman ought to be not onely that of a Practitio­ner, but that of a Guide. Hence is inferred, First a necessi­ty of knowing and understand­ing [Page] Fundamentals wherein all agree, as of the Apostles Creed. From whence is also further inferred a necessity of un­derstanding, First the Scrip­tures, and therefore the Origi­nals wherein they were written, especially the Greek. X. XI. Secondly, the Fathers of the first and purest Centuries. The necessity of this. XII. The expediency of it. XIII. Se­condly, a necessity of skill in such Controversies as divide Communions. XIV. Third­ly, a skill in Casuistical Di­vinity. The insufficiency of Pulpit-reproofs, and the necessi­ty of dealing with particular Consciences in order to the Re­formation of particular persons. XV. XVI. XVII. Requisites [Page] for inducing the People to a practice of their duty, when known: First a skill in the Ars Voluntatis. XVIII. Secondly, Boldness and Courage in telling them of their duty. How necessary this qualification is, and how much to be tendered. How it may be best performed without offending on the other ex­treme of petulancy. XIX. Thirdly, a sweet and sociable, yet grave and serious, Con­versation. How these two seem­ing contradictory extremes may be reconciled. XX. Fourthly, a holy and exemplary life. XXI. That their Lives may be exemplary, two conditions are necessary▪ First, that they be Excellent. XXII. Secondly, that their Excellency he conspi­cuous. [Page] How this conspicuity may be so contrived as that it may not hinder Humility and Mo­desty▪ XXIII. The last requi­site, a firm and stable Resolu­tion. How to be tryed. XXIV. These Advices seasonable for such as have already under­taken Orders, as well as such as onely design them. That these personal qualifications will supersede the necessity of parti­cular Rules. XXV. Two things further requisite for a nea­rer accommodation of the fore­mentioned qualifications to pra­ctice: First, that an observati­on of them from a principle of Divine love and on a ratio­nal account, is more expedient both for personal comfort and publick edification. XXVI. [Page] Second, some general Rules in managing a Parochial Cure for bringing the People to a rule­able temper. XXVII.

The Catalogue of the Wri­tings of such Christian Authors as Flourished before the Conversion of the Romane Empire to Christianity. Pag. 131.

Letter. II. CONTENTS.

THE Introduction, and Heads of the ensuing Discourse. Numb. I. What is meant by Scholastical Divinity. What to be observed in Orato­ry. The Light and Certainty of the Rational Faculties sup­posed anteedently to all Theolo­gical proof. II. A method of managing Reason most advanta­geously in Theological Controver­sies. III. The usefulness of [Page] Reason and School-Divi­nity. In what principal Con­troversies they are especially sea­sonable. IV. A censure of School-Divinity, and how it is to be used. V. The most accurate way of finding out the sense of the Scripture. The use of Philological Learning in general in order hereunto: particularly, First of those Tongues wherein they were Ori­ginally written; Secondly, the Idioms of those Tongues; Thirdly, the Idioms of the Wri­ters; Fourthly, the Antiqui­ties: the Customes of the Zabij, Chaldaean and Phaenician; their History, Chronology and Geo­graphy. The way of judging the Testimonies of the Fathers concerning Traditions. VI. The [Page] use of Saecular Philosophy in order to School-Divinity. VII. The use of Saecular Learning to the Text of the Holy Scriptures, of the ancient Greek Poetry; of the Greek, especially the Stoi­cal, Philosophy. An Apology for it. VIII. The means for un­riddling the mystical senses of the ancient Poets and Philoso­phers, and Publick Idolatries of the Heathens: the Oneirocri­ticks and Hieroglyphicks. An Apology for their use in ex­pounding Prophetick Books of Scripture. IX. The Authors to be read for initiating a young Student in each of the particu­lars advised. X. The Method to be observed for preventing di­straction in so great a variety. XI.

ERRATA:

THE most material Errata that might prejudice the sense, or prove any other way inconvenient, are already corrected with the Pen. Some others there are of less momen [...], which upon occasion of this va­cancy are here presented; as Pag. 18. l. 14. for advant ag [...]ously read advantagiously. P. 22. l: penult. for especially r. especially. p. 51. l. penult▪ for Besides r. Besides. p. 54. l. 25. for i [...]. r. in. p. 55. l. [...]. for he p r. help. p. 231. r. 131. p. 163: l. 11 for oppotunities r. opportunities. p. 179. l [...] ult. for wholy r. wholly.

Letter I.
A Letter of Advice to a young Student designing the Susception of HOLY ORDERS.

SIR,

I. HAving got that opportuni­ty I of fulfilling your Re­quests since your depar­ture, which I wanted when you were present; (because, besides the gravity of the Subject whereon you have employed me, and my own natural aversness from such insignificancies, and the necessi­ty now, if ever, of plain dealing; I believe your self would rather have it bestowed on material Advi­ces, [...]an empty Complements;) I shall therefore, like the downright and truly just Areopagites, [...], make use of it, without [Page 2] any further Ceremonial Addresses.

II II. First therefore, when you de­sire Advice for your Behaviour in that holy Function you design to un­dertake; I hope you do not intend that I should be prolix in insisting on particulars. For both that has alrea­dy been performed at large by ma­ny others (particularly you may, if you please, consult our late Excel­lent Vice Chancellour's Visitation RulesBishop Taylor., where you will find most Capacities provided for, or, among the Ancients, who usually speak more from the heart, and experience of Piety, than our Modern, though otherwise more accurate, Authors, St. Chrysostome de Sacerdotio, or St. Gre­gories Pastoral, or St. Hieroms 2d. E­pist. ad Nepotianum: entire Treati­ses concerning it, though some of them more peculiarly relate to the Episcopal or Sacerdotal Order) and my own little experience in the world, and none in the circumstan­ces considerable in managing a Cle­rical Life, may sure be sufficient to excuse me from such a Task; besides [Page 3] that it must needs prove both tedi­ous and burthensom to your memo­ry, and intricate to your prudence, to make application of innumerable Rules to circumstances yet more infi­nite that can never be foreseen. My design therefore shall be, onely to propound such Advices as may capa­citate you for the discharging of your Function to the advantage of the Publick where you shall be en­trusted, as well as your own Soul, and enable you more advantagiously to judge concerning particulars, than you can by Rules; and those ground­ed on such sure Principles, and such excellent ancient Precedents, as that, I hope, you shall have no reason to complain that they are unpractica­ble, because they are not calculated from present experience.

III. To which purpose, before III you are actually Ordained (if you be not already) I must conjure you by all that is dear unto you, to con­sider what it is, and with what de­sign you undertake it? That, as it is indeed the nob [...]est employment to [Page 4] be subservient to the Supreme Go­vernour of the World, in order to his principal designs, to which the World it self, and consequently the vastest Empires and the greatest Princes, and whatever else is count­ed glorious in the esteem of inconsi­derate Mortals, are subordinate by God himself in a capacity as ignoble as is that of the Body to the Soul; so, the hazard is proportionable: the miscarriage of those noble beings for whose redemption nothing but the blood of God was thought suf­ficiently valuable; and consequent­ly accountable according to the esti­mate God himself has been pleased to impose upon them: that there­fore you remember that you stand in need of greater natural Abilities and providential Auxiliaries, as it is more difficult to take care of a mul­titude, than of a single person; that if supernatural assistances be neces­sary for the salvation of the most able private person, much more they must be so to one not pretending to the greatest abilities in a personal re­gard [Page 5] when engaged in publick; that [...]herefore you never venture on it without probable presumption of the Divine assistance; that that cannot possibly be presumed if it be under­taken rashly (God never having promised to succour us in dangers voluntarily incurred by our selves) that it is rash if undertaken without a Call from God; (I hope you will not understand me of an Enthu­siastical unaccountable one, but a ra­tional and providential, which you may observe theDo you trust that you are in­wardly moved by the Holy Ghost, to t [...]ke upon you this Office and Mi­nistration, to serve God for the promoting of his Glory, and the edifying of his People? Church her self to have ta­ken care of in the very Of­fice of Ordination) that you cannot prudently presume a Call but upon these princi­ples: that you are princi­pally created for the Divine Service in the improvement of Mankind; that you are engaged in Gratitude to perform your Duty in it for the many benefits by him conferred on you;Answ. I trust so. Ordering or Deacons. that you cannot approve your self grate­ful [Page 6] unto him unless you love him, nor veraciously pretend to love him unless you most desire what you con­ceive most pleasing to him; whence it will follow that you must addict your self to that course of life which is most pleasing to him, if you find your self qualified for it, for this is the onely truly rational Providen­tial Call, which can without Enthu­siasme be expected and judged of. Now these qualifications must be a pure intention, natural abilities, and a firm immoveable resolution; for if any of these be wanting, you can never be secure of your own endea­vour, much less of the Divine assist­ance, for avoiding so imminent a dan­ger.

IV IV. But because I am not consi­dering these Qualifications under a meerly natural or moral notion, but as they may ingratiate you with God, and so intitle you to that assist­ance, without which, as has been shewed, you cannot securely venture on a state of life so extremely dan­gerous; I conceive it therefore ne­cessary [Page 7] to warn you what it is you may safely trust in this enquiry. First therefore, for the purity of your de­signs, you may observe that purity implies a freedom from mixture of what is more base with what is more noble, whether that which is base be predominant or onely equal. And therefore that your designs may be pure, you must take care that 1. You design this course of life for those ends alone, which indeed do onely render it worthy being designed by you upon a rational account; for this must needs be that which is most excellent. 2. That you do not de­sign this most excellent for any thing less excellent as a more ultimate end: Nay, 3. That you do not de­sign any thing less excellent as an end even coordinate with the more excellent, but onely as subordinate. The latter points are those wherein you may be most easily mistaken, and wherein it will be most difficult to satisfie your self of your own since­rity. At present you may take this Rule: if you find your self so af­fected [Page 8] with the less noble end as that without it you have reason to think that you should not undertake such a difficult duty for the more noble end alone, you have reason to suspect that the more noble end is onely subordinate, and the less noble truly ultimate; and if you find that your desires of the less noble end are such, as that, if you should fail of it, you would find less complacency in your duty, though you were sure thereby to attain that which is sup­posed more noble, you will have rea­son to suspect your designs of the less noble end to be, at least, partial and coordinate. Both designs are sinful; but with this difference: that the designing the more noble end for the less noble, argues the Will per­fectly depraved, and implies no voliti­on, but onely a ve [...]eity, for that which is more noble, and therefore can no way entitle such a person to the Di­vine favour; but the making the less noble end coordinate, argues in­deed a volition, but so imperfect, as cannot move the Divine favour, who [Page 9] cannot choose but take ill such a dishonourable Competitor, and who will by no means yield any of his ho­nour to another; nay, who has fur­ther declared it his pleasure, either to have the whole heart, or none; who will by no means partake with his Adversaries, but nauseates and abhors the lukewarm person. But though, where this is expresly de­signed, it can no way deserve his love, yet, where it is irreptitious and by way of surprize, it may, at least, in­cline his pity, upon the same account as other sins of infirmity, to which the ordinary life of Mankind is sup­posed obnoxious, and for which al­lowances are made in the very stipu­lations of the Gospel. Yet will not this consideration suffice to excuse your neglect of it; for both, negli­gence will make it cease to be a sin of infirmity; and besides the conse­quences of it (whatever the occasion may be) are so pernicious, as may make you either less serviceable in your office, or less acceptable in your performances of it; and are there­fore, [Page 10] with all possible caution, to be avoided.

V V. But that I may descend, and speak more plainly and particularly to your case; you may perceive that that which onely renders the Cleri­cal Calling rationally desireable, is that to which it is upon a rational account useful, which can be nothing in the world (the design of this Calling being to teach men how to despise and easily to part with all such things the World calls good) but onely the service of God in a peculiar manner; and that this ser­vice is to fulfill his Will as far as you are capacitated for it by this Cal­ling, which onely aims at the sa [...]vati­on of the souls of mankind. Be sure therefore that the service of God, and the salvation of souls be intirely your design. And do not trust your saying so, but make some experiment of your affections; for it is by their habitual inclinations, and not by some warm lucid intervals of reason, that your course of life is like to be determined; and you are to remem­ber, [Page 11] that your choice is irrevocable, which must oblige you to a serious consideration of what you do before you undertake it. Place therefore your self by frequent meditation in such circumstances wherein no other end were attainable. Suppose the Church were in a state of persecuti­on, which is not onely the warning, but also the promise, of the Gospel; or that your flock were assaulted by the malice of any cruel, or the scandalous example of any great, but powerful, sinner; or many other such hazardous cases which may fall out though the Church be countenanced by the saecular Government; would you here follow the example of the true S. Joh▪ x. 1 [...]. 12. shepherd, or the hireling? Could you by your own example let your flock understand that your self did seriously believe what your Calling must have obliged you to have taught and urged to them: That S. Joh. xvi. 33. 1 [...]. Joh. xi. [...]5▪ the world and all its al­lurements and menaces are to be despi­sed, that Phil. [...] ▪ 8. all things are to be ac­counted loss and dung for the excellen­cy [Page 12] of the knowledge of the cross; that Acts ix. 15, 16. tribulations upon this account were glorious, and Acts v. 41. being count­ed worthy to suffer for the name of Christ peculiarly honourable; that S. Matth. v. 11. 12. persecutions and reproaches, and bitter calumnies suffered for so good a cause were matter of exultation and exceed­ing joy? Could you even in these difficulties repeat your choice if it were reiterable? Or, if you were desporate of any other portion in this life, would you not either wish it undone, or even actually undo it if you could with honour? Do not think this case Romantick even now; for both this will be the securest way of passing a faithful judgment concerning your own temper, especi­ally of that which is necessary for this Calling; and this is one of the chief duties and uses of the calling it self, that you be readyJer. xxiii. 2. Ezek. xxxiv. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. to assist your flock in the time of necessity, andS. Joh. x. 11. Phil. ii. 17. to lay down your life for them, when it might prove for their advantage; and, believe it how pro­sperous soever you may fancy Chri­stianity [Page 13] to be among us, you would find it to be actually true, in a high degree, by the odium you must needs incur by a conscientious discharging of your duty: in admonishing scan­dalous persons, openly, and others, secretly, of their Vices, and suspend­ing such as would shew themselves incorrigible from the communion; in freely, and sometimes openly, rebu­king the great ones as well as the mean, nay sometimes more, inasmuch as their example is more pestilential; in generally weakning the hands and hearts, and disappointing the de­signs, of impious persons, by shaming them out of countenance, by redu­cing their companions, and generally awing them by a constantly grave and severe behaviour.

VI. And by this experiment you VI may also perceive whether any less noble end be ingredient in your de­signing this Calling: whether it be to gratifie the humours of your Friends, or a vainglorious shewing of your parts, or a more honourable condition of life even in this world, [Page 14] or a more plentifull maintenance, or a politick design of making your self considerable in gaining a party for your own designs, though, I con­fess, the humour of our Protestant Laity is generally so self-confident, and so little dependent on their Mi­nisters (if they do not despise them) as that this last Temptation cannot now be very dangerous. For if you can as cheerfully serve God in the absence of these temporal encou­ragements as with them; if you can for your own sake patiently bear with the succeslesness of your per­formances, and satisfie your self in the conscience of having performed your duty; if you be as industrious and careful of a Cure less temporal­ly advantagious, as of one that is more, and of persons that cannot, as well as of those that can, reward you; if you know, with the Apo­stle, how to be abased, as well as how to abound; if you can praise God as cheerfully in a low, as in a prosperous condition; nay more, as having then a title to many blessings of which [Page 15] your prosperous condition is unca­pable; if you can find your affecti­ons so disintangled from the World, that you are, likePhil. i. 23, 24, 25. St. Paul, care­less of living, upon your own ac­count, but onely for the Divine Ser­vice; then indeed, and not till then, you may be securely confident of the integrity of your intentions, and venture your self in this warfare, as the Clerical Calling is expresly called by St. Paul, 2 Tim. II. 3, 4. And as it were certainly most secure that your affections were thus gene­rally alienated from these more ig­noble designs, that you may satisfie your own conscience of your own freedom from the suspition of them; so, because the heart is so intolerably deceitful as that its inclinations can­not be certainly discerned till the objected be vested with advantagious particular circumstances; and these cannot be so prudently foreseen in general; it will, at least, concern you to make the experiment full in such cases as you are by your own incli­nations obnoxious to, and whose cir­cumstances [Page 16] may very probably and frequently occur, and therefore may rationally be expected. Remember that this enquiry be performed, as in the sight of God, to whom you must return an account of this Stew­ardship, and whom it is impossible to deceive; and for your own sake, whose interest is not meanly, but, greatly and eternally, concerned in it: not onely for your personal pre­judice which you may incur by your imprudence herein, but also those mischievous consequential miscarria­ges, which will involve you deeply in the guilt of the ruine of as many Souls as shall be engaged therein by the example, or imprudence, or neg­ligence of their guide, who should have been exemplary to them. It were well if you made this the sub­ject of a Communion-exercise before you take Orders; for when you have devested your self of all world­ly designs, and have God alone be­fore your eyes, and spiritual conside­rations; and have acknowledged your own insufficiency to discern the [Page 17] deceitfulness of your heart, and have therefore humbly implored the Divine assistance, and intirely placed your confidence in him, and his in­spirations, not extraordinary and En­thusiastical, but, Providential and moral: That he may be pleased to clear your understanding from all prejudices of your will; that to your understanding, thus prepared, he would suggest the securest mo­tives; that he would enable you with a prudent and distinguishing spirit in passing your judgment, and making your election of them; when, I say, you have done all this, you will then have the greatest moral proba­bility that is possible, that your judgment (if you can satisfie your self of your sincerity in observing these Rules) is the judgment of right Reason, and consequently, in the way we are now speaking of, the Will of God.

VII. But neither is this purity of VII design alone sufficient (unless you have abilities for it) either to pre­sume a Call from God, or to ven­ture [Page 18] securely and prudently on it. Not the former; for Gods designing men for particular Callings, is, in a Providential way, to be concluded from his gifts, which are the talents he intrusts us with, and therefore obliges us to improve, and that after the most advantagious way; so that where God has given natural gifts peculiarly fitting a person for a par­ticular Calling, and where it is with­all evident, that either they fit him for no other Calling, or, at least, not so advantagiously, or to a Calling not so advantagious; there, if he follow the dictate of right Reason (which is the onely Providential voyce of God) he must needs conclude him­self in prudence obliged to follow this, rather than any other. But you may be here mistaken, if you consi­der either your Gifts, or your Cal­ling, partially. Your Gifts you are to consider universally, in regard of themselves, or their effects, which may with any great moral probabili­ty be foreseen, whether natural, or accidental: whether, as some of your [Page 19] Gifts do fit you for the Clerical Calling, so, they may not equally fit you for another? whether, if they fit you onely, or peculiarly for this, yet, you may not have other qualifications that may make it dan­gerous? whether, if you have such as may render it dangerous, the dan­ger be greater, or more probable to come to pass, than the advantage? whether, if you have none, yet, you have not onely some, but all, the qua­lifications for this Calling? whether, if some be wanting, they be either fewer, or less considerable than those you have? So also, concerning the Calling it self, you are to consider whether, all things being allowed for, it be likely to prove more ad­vantagious, or disadvantagious, to you? whether it be more necessary, or onely more convenient? whether, if more necessary▪ it be also more se­cure, especial [...]y in regard of your greater interest [...]? And concerning all these enqui [...]es, you may fall into great mistakes, if you have not be­fore rectified your intention, and so [Page 20] fixed on a right end, from whence you may deduce faithful measures o [...] things. It will therefore here con­cern you to use all possible prudence and caution; and you cannot be ex­cused if you use less than you would in a case wherein all your secular fortunes and your life it self were deeply hazarded, seeing these things are incomparably less trivial.

VIII VIII. I hope you will not so far suspect me of Pelagianism as to put me to the trouble of an Apology for calling these qualifications natural. My meaning is not, that these natu­ral qualifications alone are sufficient for discharging the Clerical Cal­ling? Or, that those Auxiliaries that are superadded are onely natural; but onely, that all superadded Aux­iliaries are grounded on the im­provement of such as are natural, not as merits rigorously obliging God in point of Justice, but as mo­tives mercifully perswading and in­ducing him, who is of himself alrea­dy munificent; so that the principal and original ground of expecting [Page 21] these supernatural Auxiliaries, which can onely be hoped for by them who are peculiarly called, can ante­cedently (as it is plain that the ground of their hope must be ante­cedent) be grounded on nothing but what is natural. To let this therefore pass (that this whole Dis­course may be deduced home to your case) it will be necessary to shew what these qualifications are, which will best be understood by their accommodation to the design for which you intend them. That therefore I suppose to be the taking of a particular charge upon you of the souls of a particular Congrega­tion; so that according to the seve­ral wayes of the miscarriage of such souls, you ought to be contrarily qualified for their security. And the miscarriage of their souls being oc­casioned by their non performance of their duty, your qualifications must consist in such requisites as may in­duce them to that performance. And these will, in general, be reduced to two heads: such as may be necessary [Page 22] for informing them in their duty, and such as may induce them to practice it [...] for in both these put together their security does adaequately consist. And in order to these two ends you must be endued with two requi­sites: knowledge, for convincing their understandings; and prudence, for perswading their wills. By knowledge I do not so much mean that which is Speculative and Schola­stical, as that which is more immedi­ately Practical. For I suppose your charge to consist principally of the illiterate multitude, and that if you have any intelligent learned Laick that may be capable of higher things, yet that it is more rare and casual; and that in these qualificati­ons, I am speaking of, we are not so much to consider what is rare and extraordinary, as what is frequent and usual; what is useful and convenient, as what is absolutely necessary. For both those extraordinary occasions cannot so much oblige to a peculiar provision, especailly in those multi­tudes which are necessary for these [Page 23] services of the Church, all which cannot be expected capable of them; and those cases, being extraordina­ry, may be supplied by a few peculi­arly gifted that way, seeing it is Gods usual way thus to distribute those [...], which are indeed convenient for the edification of the Catholick Church in general, but not absolutely necessary for every par­ticular charge. For these ends there­fore, wherein your other studies of more necessary concernment, or the aversion of your own genius, may not incline you, or afford you oppor­tunity, or enable you, to attain such skill your self as were convenient; it will be sufficient that you hold correspondence with such as have it, whom you may consult with as oc­casion shall require, and so not be al­together unprovided even for these extraordinary occurrences. But that which will more peculiarly and in­dispensably concern you, is that more immediately practical know­ledge, which all are some way bound to observe, and of which none, [Page 24] which act prudently in their com­mon concernments of the world, may be presumed uncapable. And it were well that you would reduce all other speculative knowledge to this, as it is certainly designed by God. My meaning is, that you would not begin with notions in in­structing others, but that you would first stir them up to practice such duties as are by all parties acknow­ledged to be essentially obligatory under the state of Christianity (as, God be praised, principles sufficient for most of these are admitted by all considerable parties that violate the peace of Christendom, however other­wise disunited among themselves) and so by that means bring them to a carefulness of their wayes, and a ten­derness of conscience, and an inquisi­tiveness after their duty universally whatever it may be; which will pre­pare them for what other instructi­ons they may afterwards prove ca­pable of; and will be of excellent use, both for rendring your advice acceptable and useful to them, when [Page 25] they first sensibly experience its ne­cessity before it be communicated; and for preventing the infusion of any frivolous and unprofitable noti­ons, which are very dangerous to po­pular capacities (who are usually more passionate than judicious, and are too prone to impose their own private sentiments in things, they do not understand, as well as those they do, on others, and so to make them the badges and characteristicks of subdividing parties) and will be the best measure for suiting and propor­tioning their knowledge to their ca­pacities; for they are certainly ca­pable of so much knowledge whose usefulness they are capable of appre­hending; and no more is necessary, if I may not say, expedient, to be communicated to them.

IX. I could have shewn you, in IX many regards, how incomparably more advantagious this way is, even for the reduction of Hereticks and Schismaticks, than that which is ordinarily made use of, an abrupt disputation: for by this means you [Page 26] will find that the onely true causes of heretical and schismatical pravity, obstinacy and perversity of will, and prejudices of the world, and the vain desire of applause and victory, and their preingagement in a party, and that shame and unwillingness to yield (even to truth it self, when it appears their Adversary) which unawares surprizes the most innocently mean­ing men, will be removed before your reasons be propounded, which, if by them they be thought more convincing, they must, upon these suppositions, needs prevail; and that the want of the removal of these is that which ordinarily makes dispu­tations so successess; nay that the conversion it self of the persons with­out the purgation of these prejudices, might indeed enlarge our party (a design too vain to be aimed at by any peaceable pious Christian) but would never be advantagious to the persons themselves (the charity to whose souls ought to be the princi­pal inducement to a rational and prudent person to engage him to en­deavour [Page 27] their satisfaction) because it were hardly probable that the truth it self could be embraced on its own account, and so for virtuous motives, whilest these humors were predominant; and to receive the truth it self for vitious ones were a desecration and prostitution of it, which must certainly be most odious and detestable in the sight of God, who judges impartially of the secret thoughtss and intentions, as well as the exteriour professions, of men; that, I say, these things are true, if Reason do not, yet sad experience will, prove a full conviction. Besides their receiving the truth it self upon humour. (and it cannot be judged to be upon any other account where it is not embraced upon a pious sensse of its usefulness) would both be scandalous to those that might per­ceive it (as Hypocrites cannot al­wayes be so cautious in their perso­nations, but that sometimes the As­ses ears will appear through the Lyons skin) and would render them as uncertain to any party as the [Page 28] cause that makes it. Nay if, after you had reduced them to this good pliable temper, you could not pre­vail on them in perswading them to an assent to what you say, either through the weakness of their under­standings, or your own unskilfulness in pleading for a good cause with ad­vantage; yet you must needs con­clude them invincibly ignorant, and therefore excusable before God in this regard, as well as positively acce­ptable in others; and therefore must be as charitable in your demeanour to them, as, you believe, God will prove favourable in their final sen­tence; which must needs be a great secondary satisfaction and comfort (that their errors themselves are in­nocent) to such as are more intent on the improvement of Christianity it self than any subdividing denomi­nation; for it God himself, though he desires that good men should at­tain the actual truth in order to the peace of Ecclesiastical communion, be yet pleased to admit of some ano­malous instances of his mercy, whose [Page 29] failing thereof shall not prove pre­judical to them; if, I say, God may do thus, and may be presumed to do so by you; I do not see how you can excuse your self (if you dissent) from forfeiting the glory of unifor­mity and resignation of your will to God, which are they alone which make your other services accepta­ble, or from incurring the blame of the envious murmuring servant, of havingS [...] Matth. xx. 15. your own eye evil because your Masters is good. Nay, for my part, I believe, that if you can here (as you ought to do in all cases) be satisfied in an expectation of a future reward from God; your patient and confident acquiescing in the Will of God, even when your endeavours prove successess as to the end imme­diately designed by your self, will be so far from being a discourage­ment, as that it will indeed intitle you to a greater preportion of spiri­tual comfort; both because you may then best satisfie your self in the in­tegrity of your intertien for God when you can readily acquiesce [Page 30] without any gratification of your self by a victory in your discourse▪ and because the present little fruits of your labours may justly encou­rage you to expect a more plentiful arrear behind. Yet, I believe, this preparation of your Auditors for your discourses by a sense of piety will not minister much or frequent occasions of dissidence even of the event, no [...] consequently of the exer­cise of these passive graces, as well in regard of the Divine assistance, you may then hope for, as your own abilities. For when the person has thus rendred [...]imself worthy of the favour and has implored the Divine goodness for its actual collation; there can [...] reason to despair of the Divine assistance, so far as it may not violate the ordinary Rules of Providence: such as are the sug­gesting such motives to your mind as are most proper to prevail on the capacity of the person with whom you deal: the fitting you with ad­vantage of proper and persuasive ex­pression; the suiting all to the cir­cumstances [Page 31] and apprehension of the person, and the like, which when they concur cannot frequently fail of the desired event. But that which does especially recommend this me­thod, is, that these moral dispositions of the will are so frequently taken notice of in the Gospel it self as the qualifications that prepared its Au­ditors for its reception. For these seem to be theIsa. xlviii. 8. l. 5. the opening of the ears, the Acts xvi. 14. touching of the heart, theS. John x. 14, 16. sheeplike disposition, theS. Luke ix. 62. preparation for the king­dom, theActs xiii. 48. ordination to eternal life, theS. John 47. true Israeliteship, which are everywhere assigned as the rea­sons of the conversion of many of them. But this onely by the way.

X. That I may therefore return X to the subject of my former dis­course, you may hence conclude, that all that your people are obliged to practice, that, at east, you are obli­ged to know; and that not onely as a Practitioner, who may be secure in knowing his own duty, in the sim­plicity of it, with such reasons also [Page 32] of it as may be useful for rectifying his intention, which is the onely thing that can rationally be concei­ved to render a duty acceptable to God; but also as a Guide, who should also be acquainted with the nature of the duty it self, and the reason why it is imposed by God, and how it may contribute to the im­provement of mankind, and what influence every circumstance consi­derable may have on the morality of the whole duty; for without these things you can never be able to make a true estimate of those infi­nite cases that may occur, having to deal with persons of different com­plexions, and different callings, and different habitual inclinations. Upon which account it will concern you first to have studied all those funda­mentals, which are generally esteem­ed so by persons of all persuasions (such are those contained in theThat this is the sense of the Church concerning this Creed, appears, in that this is required of all persons to be baptized, in the Office of Baptism; of all persons dying, in the Office of Visitation of the Sick; of all persons thought fit to be confirmed or com­municated, in the Church-Catechism. [Page 33] Creed commonly ascribed to the Apostles) not that I conceive it ne­cessary that you deduce all conse­quences that may be inferred from expressions used, even by approved Authors, even in these affairs them­selves; but that you may be able, from your own judgment, to give an account what concerning them is necessary to be believed, and for what reasons, that so you may be able to satisfie an inquisitive Laick, and maintain the honour of your place, which is to preserve the Keys of knowledge as well as Discipline; and, believe it, in this knowing age, it is more than ever necessary. But for these things I would not have you too much trust the Schoolmen, or any modern collectors of Bodies of Divinity, who do too frequently confound Traditions with Opinions, the Doctrines and Inferences of the Church with her Historical Traditi­ons, the sense of the ancient with the superadditions of modern ages, and their own private senses with those of the Church. If therefore [Page 34] you would faithfully and distinctly inform your self herein, I do not understand how you can do it with security to your self that you do not misguide your flock, in affairs of so momentous a concernment, without having recourse to the O­riginals themselves; wherein you should cautiously distinguish what is clearly, and in terms, revealed by the Apostles, and what onely is so virtually and consequentially; for it cannot be credible that God has made the belief of that necessary to salvation, which he has not clear­ly revealed (so as to leave the un­believers unexcusable) and that cannot rationally be pretended to be clearly revealed, which is nei­ther so in terms, nor in clear and cer­tain consequences. Now these Ori­ginals are the Scriptures as the Text, and the Fathers of the first and purest Centuries as an Historical Commentary, in controverted pas­sages, to clear its sense. First there­fore the reading of the Scripture is a duty, in all regards, incumbent [Page 35] on you; For these are they that Joh. xx. 31. are written that we might believe, and that believing we might have life in the name of Christ; thatLuk. i. 4. are certainly to assure us of those things wherein we have been Catechized; that are able to make us2 Tim. iii. 15. wise unto salvation. And particularly, in reference to your Calling, the Scriptures are said to be necessary for making2 Tim. iii. 16. 17. the man of God (an appellative especially proper to the Clergie 1 Tim. vi. 11.) per­fect in teaching, in reproving, in cor­recting, in discipline (so [...] signi­fies) acts also peculiarly belonging to the Clerical Calling. And ac­cordingly ourAlso that e­very Parson, Vlcar, Curate, Chautery, Priest, and Stipendary, being under the degree of a Batchelor of Divinity, shall provide and have of his own, within three months after this Visitation, the New Testament both in Latin and English, with the Paraphrase upon the same of Erasmus, and dili­gently study the same, conferring the one with the other. And the Bishops and other Ordinaries by themselves or their Officers in their Synods and Visitations, shall examine the said Ecclesiastical persons how they have prostred in the study of Holy Scripture. Injunct by K. Edward VI. Anno 1547. [...]. 11. of Dr. Sp [...]r [...]ow p. 6 7. Also that every Parson, Vicar, Curate, and [...] Priest, being under the Degree of a Master of Art, shall provide and have of his own within three months after this Visitation, the new [...] both in Latin and English with Para­p [...]ra [...]es upon the same, conserring the one with the other. And the Bishops and other Ordinaries by [...] or their Officers, in their Synods and [...], shall examine the said Ecclesiastical persons how they have prfited in the study of Holy Scripture. Injunct by Q. Elizabeth, Anno, 1559. p. 72. 1. 16. I shall read daily at the least one chapter of the old Testament, and another of the new, with good [...], to the increase of my knowledge. Pro­ [...] to be made, promised and subscribed by persons to be admitted to any Office, Room or Cure, or other place Ecclesiastical, among the Ar­ticles of Q. Elizabeth, Anno, 1564. p. 127. Church does [Page 36] oblige the Clergie to read two Chapters, at least, every day, con­cerning which, according to the old rules, they might have been exami­ned by the Bishop, as also in Eras­mus's Paraphrase; which seems to have been Instituted to make a­mends for the length of the Ro­mane Offices (injoyned by them on their Clergie under pain of mor­tal [Page 37] sin) above that of our Liturgie; as conceiving the skill of the Cler­gie in the Scriptures of more mo­ment for the discharge of their duty to the publick than their prayers themselves. Besides your skill here­in is looked on as so necessary as that it is one of the severest charg­es laid on all in the very collation of their Orders, that they beIn the [...] thire orders diligent in reading the Scriptures.

XI. But you must not think this XI charge satisfied in beginning to do so from the time of your Ordinati­on. For you must remember that you are then to be a Teacher, not a Scholar; besides that you cannot pass a prudent judgment of your own abilities till you have already experienced them, and thereof [...] must have begun before. As you therefore read the Scriptures, it were well that after reading of any Chapter you would mark the diffi­cult places, at least in the New Testa­ment, and, when they may see [...] to concern any necessary matter of [Page 38] Faith or Practice (for you must re­member that I am now speaking of the meanest qualifications that may be expected in him who would pru­dently take this calling on him) af­terwards consult Commentators, such as are reputed most excellent in their kind; and read them, not cursorily, but carefully, examining their grounds to the uttermost of your capacity; seeing that you are to enquire, not onely for your self, but also for as many as are to be led by you. First therefore, after you have read the Commentator, either in writing, or, if that bee too tedi­ous, in meditation, recollect the sum of his discourse, by reducing them to Propositions; then apply the proofs to the Propositions they pro­perly belong to. Then examine the pertinency of his proofs so applyed, if they be reasons, from the nature of the thing; if Testimonies, from the Authors from whom he bor­rowes them, by which means alone you may understand whether they mean them in the sense intended by [Page 39] him. And at last see how his sense agrees with the Text it self, by comparing it with the cohaerence, both antecedent, and consequent. And for this occasional use of ex­pounding Scripture, it were necessa­ry to be skilled in the Originals; for all Translations being performed by fallible persons, and being capable of such aequivocations which may frequently have no ground in the Originals; the sense, as collected from such Translations, may very probably be misunderstood, and therefore cannot be securely trust­ed. But, of the two Originals, the Greek is that, which can with less security be neglected upon the prin­ciples already praemised. For, sup­posing that your obligation is chief­ly for matters of Faith, and so trans­cending natural means of know­ledge; and moral duties, not evi­dent, nor deducible, from the light of right Reason, as being special de­grees, peculiarly due to those mani­festations of the Divine love in the Gospel, greater than could have [Page 40] been expected from the Divine Phi­lanthropy, as it appears from reason alone; both of these are proper to the Gospel-state, and therefore are onely to be expected from the New Testament, which, though in other things it may require the Hebrew, for understanding the Hellenistical s [...]ile; yet in these things, being so peculiarly proper to the Gospel-state, and being many of them merely new Revelations, it cannot be so extreamly necessary, and therefore the Greek may be here sufficient. Yet I must withall needs confess, that (for the Government and Governours of the Church, and the rituals adopted into Christianity by the positive Institution of the Gospel, the two Sacraments and o­ther Solemnities of the Service of God) the knowledge of the Jewish Antiquities is very necessary for clear­ing some things of so momentous a consideration, and so ordinary pra­ctice, as that you may not be able, without them, to give a fall satis­faction to your Parochia [...] cure, in [Page 41] doubts that may nearly concern them, which will therefore require a skill in the Rabbins, if not in the Hebrew Tongue wherein they are written.

XII. And upon the same account,XII I do not, for my part, see how you can well have neglected the Fathers of the first and purest Centuries, espe­cially those that are, by the consent of all, concluded genuine, and that lived before the Empire turned Christian, who consequently were free from those secular enjoyments, which, in a short time, sensibly cor­rupted that generosity and exem­plary severity, which were so ad­mirably conspicuous in the Infancy of Christianity. For, though it be confessed that the Scriptures are in­deed clear in all matters indispen­sably necessary to Salvation (which are the onely subjects of my pre­sent discourse) yet I conceive that perspicuity to have been mainly ac­commodated to the present appre­hensions of the persons then living, many of the phrases being taken [Page 42] from doctrines or practices then ge­nerally prevailing among them, and obviously notorious to all, the vul­gar, as well as persons of greater capacities. But that all things, that were then clear, might not, as other Antiquities have done since, in a long process of time, contract an ac­cidental obscurity by the abolition, or neglect, of those then notorious Antiquities on which that perspicui­ty is supposed to depend; or that, supposing this perspicuity still to depend on such Antiquities, Provi­dence should have been obliged to keep such Antiquities themselves unchanged, or any other way noto­rious than by the monuments still extant of those ages; cannot, I con­ceive, with any probability be pre­sumed: either from the nature of the thing; or the design of the Scriptures, which both seem to have been written in accommodation to particular exigences, and on particu­lar occasions; and rather to inti­mate, than insist on, such things as were already presumed notorious, [Page 43] and must needs have been either more intricate, if brief; or more tedious and voluminous, if accurate, in explaining so numerous particu­lars. Now, if this perspicuity were accommodated to the appre­hensions of them to whom they were, more immediately, revealed; then certainly the Holy Ghost must needs be presumed to have intended such senses as he knew them ready and likely to apprehend (especially in such cases wherein the terms were taken from something already noto­rious among them, and wherein they could have no reason to suspect their misapprehensions, much less, ordina­ry means to rectifie them) and there­fore, on the contrary, what we can find to have been their sense of the Scriptures, in things perspicuous and necessary, that we have reason to believe verily intended by the Re­vealer. Besides that this is the usual practice of our most accurate Cri­ticks, to expound their Authors, where difficult, by comparing them with other writers of the same time, [Page 44] or Sect, or Subject, which mention the thing doubted of more clearly; and therefore cannot prudently be refused here, where we are speak­ing of the ordinary moral means of finding out the true sense of the Scriptures. I do confess that the Fathers do not write in a method so accurate and fitted to the capacities of beginners as our modern Sy­stemes, but withall, I think, it can­not be denyed but that they are, e­ven upon that account, more intel­ligible than the Scriptures, so that they who are obliged to be skilful in the Scriptures cannot, upon any account, be presumed uncapable of understanding the Fathers. Nor ought it to be pretended that the writings of the Fathers are too vo­luminous and tedious a task for a young man to undertake before his entring into the Clerical calling; for both I do not see how that way can be counted tedious, which is ne­cessary, and onely secure, how long soever it may be; nor is it indeed true, that the Fathers of the first [Page 45] three Centuries were a task so very tedious (for as for others after­wards, the more remote they are, the less competent also they must be for informing us of the sense of the Apostles in an Historical way of which alone we are now discoursing; nay seeing that the later writers can know nothing this way, but what has been delivered to them by the former, it will follow that they cannot be able to inform us of any thing new, after the reading of their predecessors, and therefore, though it might be convenient, yet, after the Primitives, the reading of the later Fathers cannot be so indis­pensably necessary) especially if the counterfeited Authors and writings be excepted, together withall those that are lyable to any just suspicion, and are reputed such by learned and candid men; and if their time were improved, as it might by most, and would by all, that would undertake this severe Calling upon these con­scienti [...]us accounts I have been al­ready describing. Besides I do not [Page 46] know why they should complain for want of time either before, or after, the susception of holy Orders, when as we see other Callings re­quire seven years learning before their liberty to practice, whereas a much less time well improved would serve for this, even for ordinary ca­pacities, that were grounded in the necessary rudiments of humane learning; and they have afterwards a maintenance provided for them without care, that they might addict themselves without distraction to employments of this nature. All things therefore being considered, I do not see how this requisite (how much soever it may amuse some by its seeming novelty) is either unne­cessary or unpracticable.

XIII XIII. Besides these reasons from necessity, I might produce o­thers of conveniency why young practicioners of Divinity should de­duce their Doctrine more immedi­ately from the fountains. As first, that by this means they may be best able to judge impartially, when they [Page 47] are less possessed with the favour of a party; whereas it is, I doubt, too frequently, the practice of those that do otherwise, first espouse a partly, afterwards to see with no o­ther perspectives than what preju­dice and interest will permit, not so much to enquire what does indeed appear truly derived from the A­postles, as what these conveighers of Apostolical Tradition say in fa­vour of their own, and discounte­nance of their Adversaries faction. And Secondly, this would certainly much contribute to the infusing a peaceable Spirit into the Catholick Church (a blessing vigorously to be prosecuted and prayed for by all good Christians) which certainly could not chuse but considerably contribute further to the actual peace of Christendome, whose principles might undoubtedly in many things be better accommodated, if their Spirits were less exasperated. This it would do, partly by the inevi­dence of the reasons, when exami­ned; for it is generally the unex­perienced [Page 48] confidence that is most bold and daring; partly in deriving principles of accommodation from those fountains which all do so una­nimously applaud, and wherein therefore they are most likely to a­gree, if ever Providence reduce them to a reconciliation: and part­ly because by this means they will be less likely to broach any offen­sive Doctrines, seeing that for this end, not onely the Church of Rome, but our Mother the Church ofImprimis verò videbunt, ne quid unquam doceant pro Concione, quod a populo religiose te­neri & credi velint, nisi quod con [...]enta­neum sit doctrinae veteris aut Novi Testamenti, quod­que ex il [...]â psà Doctrinâ Catholi [...]i [...]a­tres & v [...]teres Epis­copi [...] Lib. quo [...]und Canon. An 15 [...]1. Ed. II. D. Sparrow p. 238. England, has required that no other expressions of Scriptures be urged publick­ly but such as are agreeable to the Doctrine of the Fa­thers: your observation of which Canon I do not see how you can secure without knowing what they hold, nor know what they hold without reading them. Be­sides Thirdly, that the very conversing with such admirable monuments of Piety, where most of their very errors seem to have [Page 49] proceeded from a nobly designing excessive severity, and their practices rather exceeded, than fell short of, their doctrinal severity, must needs, like the conversation of God with Moses in the Mount, affect them with a proportionable splendor: to see them devoring all their worldly in­terests for the Service of the Church, exposing their lives and fortunes for the faith of Christ, I do not say, willingly and patiently, but even joyfully and triumphantly, Ter­tul. ad Scapul. wearying their Judges cruelty, and blunting their Executioners Axes, with the multitudes of such as, without any enquiry, offered themselves, crowding and throng­ing to the Catastae, the Vngulae, the stakes and gridirons, and other the most terrible executions that were ever heard of, with as much ear­nestness and emulation as was ever shewn in the Olympick exercises, impatiently striving for the honour of that which the World thought penal and calamitous. And lastly that they must needs from hence [Page 50] make a truer estimate concerning the real design and duties of Chri­stianity, from those times wherein it was undertaken upon choice and a rational approbation, and against all the contrary aversations of worldly interests, merely for its own sake, and when it was preached in the simplicity of it, without any compliances or indulgences gratifying either the humours or pretended necessities of a worldly conversati­on; than now when fashion and e­ducation and worldly interests are the very inducements inclining ma­ny to profess themselves Christians, who otherwise take not the least care of fulfilling their baptismal obligations, and wherein the vitious reserves of the World have prevail­ed so far as to corrupt their very Casuistical Divinity, and to make them believe those things impossi­ble, and so necessarily requiring the Divine favour to excuse them, which yet were then universally perform­ed. And to see how peculiarly the Clerical Calling was then honour­ed: [Page 51] that none were chosen to it but either such as were designed by the more immediate inspiration of the Dr. Ham­mond on i. Tim. 1. 18. Holy Ghost to their Ordainer; or by the general Suffrages of the Lam­prid. in Alexan. Severo & ibid. Casaub. S. Cypri­an. Ep. 34. People concerning their unspot­ted lives, when that extraordinary way failed; or by some extraordi­nary experiment of their excellent Spirits: such wereSo S. Cyprian. Pont. in vit. Cy­prian. renouncing all their possessions, and resigning them to the common use of the Church, or someSo Aurelius S. Cypri­an. Ep. 33. Cele­rinus Id. Ep. 34. Numidi­cus Ep. 35. exemplary suffering for the faith of Christ (which though not extending to death was then calledVid. Pamel. in Ep. 9. S. Cypri­an. & B. Rhena. & ali [...]s ad Tertul a [...] Mar­tyr. Martyr­dom) besides that zeal and incessant diligence in providing for the ne­cessities of their cure, and those per­secutions which were sometimes as peculiarly their lot as they were Gods, must needs imprint a Sacred awe and Reverence for the Calling, which, if measured by present either precepts or precedents, cannot be deservedly esteemed.

XIV. But to proceed. Besides this knowledge of the prime neces­sary [Page 52] fundamentals it will also be ne­cessary for to be skilled in all such controversies as separate any con­siderable Communions of Christi­ans. For these also your flock, il­literate as well as learned, are ob­liged to practice. For it is certain that they must be obliged to make use of the Sacraments as the ordina­ry channels where Grace may be expected, and therefore must com­municate with some Church; and seeing every Church does not onely assert its own, but censure other Communions differing from her, and therefore will not permit any per­son that enjoyes her Communion to Communicate with any other; it will follow that they must all be concerned, as far as they are capa­ble, to understand a reason, not onely of their Communion with ours, but their consequent separati­on from other Churches. For see­ing Schisme is a sin of as malignant an influence to Souls as many others which are more infamous in the vulgar account; it must needs be [Page 53] your duty to secure them from that, as well as other sins. Now the for­mal imputable notion of Schism as a sin being the no-necessity of its di­viding the Churches peace; that a­ny party of men may be excusable from it, they must be satisfied: ei­ther that not they, but their Ad­versaries, were the causes of the division; or that, if themselves were, yet it was on their part neces­sary; which it is impossible for you to do even to your own prudent sa­tisfaction, if you do not understand the true state of the Controversies, and the full force of what is pro­duced on both sides. And for knowing the true state of the Con­troversies, you must remember, that the Obligation incumbent on you for knowing them does not concern you as they are the disputes of pri­vate Doctors, or even tolerated Par­ties, but as they are the Characte­risticks of Communions; and therefore they must be the Coun­cils and Canons, or such other pub­lick Authentick Records of the [Page 54] Churches, or their acknowledged Champions as explaining their Churches sense, and not their own▪ and the conditions practiced among them without which their Commu­nion cannot be had, that you must be presumed skilful in. I do not think it so indispensably necessary that you be skilled in all the parti­cular Controversies of meaner con­cernment even betwixt different Churches themselves, but those that are mutually thought sufficient to separate Communion; nor in all those themselves, but in any. For as, for joyning in a Communion, it is ne­cessary that all the Conditions pre­scribed for it be lawful; so on the contrary, if onely one be unlawful, it is enough to prove the separation not unnecessary, and so not culpable, nay, that it is necessary and obligato­ry; and so sufficient to satisfie him in as much as he is concerned to practice. Your skill in these things will every way be obligatory on you: for their sakes that are capa­ble, that you may satisfie them; for [Page 55] those that are not, that you may secure them, (who, by how much they are less able to he [...]p them­selves, must consequently more rely upon your conduct, which will there­fore lay the blame of their miscar­riages heavily on you, if they be occasioned by your negligence) and for the reducing such as are misled, a duty too generally neglected a­mong the poor superstitious Natives, though expresly required by the Can. of the Church of Ire­land xl. Canons of our Church; so that you are obliged, not onely to be able to teach your Flock, but al­so Tit. i. to resist gain sayers, to Tit. ii. 5. rebuke them with all Authority, Tit. i. 11. to stop their mouths, to convince and perswade the modest, and to con­found and shame the Incorrigible. But, in dealing with Adversaries, it were fit, that, in accommodation to the method already prescribed, of fitting them for rational discourses by first bringing them to a conscien­tious sense of their duty; you would therefore fit your motives to those preparations, by insisting not [Page 56] onely on the Truth, but the Piety, of embracing what you would per­swade them to, and the Impiety of the contrary; how directly, or in­directly, it countenances or encou­rages licentiousness; at least of how mischievous consequence the sin of Schism upon such an account would be, and how inconsiderable the contrary palliations are for ex­cusing it: that Schism is a breach of Peace, and so a violation of the very Testament of our Lord; of love, and so a disowning the Chara­cteristick badg whereby Christians are peculiarly distinguishable from the Infidel-world; a subdividing the Church into Factions and Parties, and consequently chargeable with the guilt of the scandal of the common Adversaries, who by these means are induced to dishonourable thoughts of the Institutor of so confounded a Profession, and are by these mutu­al exasperations enabled to see the infirmities of all Parties by their mutual recriminations; and so their minds become exulcerated and im­pregnably [Page 57] prejudiced against all the Rhetorick of the Gospel, and un­capable of those ends designed by God in it's publication (and oh how heavy an account will such disho­nour of God, such frustrating of his Evangelical designs, and the mis­carriage of such a multitude of Souls, so dearly purchased by him, amount to!) besides the internal mischiefs following from it: a weakning the common strength by dis­persing it into multitudes of inconsiderable fractions, singly conside­red, and so disabling it for any ge­nerous designs of taking care of that great part of the World which never yet heard of the Gospel, be­sides the dissolution of Discipline, the contempt of the Authority, and weak­ning it, and so the great liberty made for all the vices and scandals of wick­ed men by a consequent impunity. I would heartily recommend this con­sideration to our conscientious dis­senting Brethren who are affrighted from our Communion by the scan­dalous lives of some of our preten­ded [Page 58] Conformists, how much them­selves contribute to the Calamities they so seriously deplore by bring­ing a disrespect on that Authority which should, if entertained with due veneration, either reform them, or make them cease to be scanda­lous by their perfect exclusion from her Communion.

XV XV. But that which you can least of all want, is a study too much neglected, because too little experien­ced, among Protestants, that of Casuistical Divinity. For unless your general Sermons be brought home and applyed to particular Con­sciences; I do not know how you can be said to have used your ut­most diligence for the Salvation of particular persons, and therefore how you can clear your self from particular miscarriages. I am sure, this is the way the Apostle St. Paul vindicates himself from the blood of all men. Act. xx. 26. that he had not spared to declare unto them the whole counsel of God, v. 26. and that, not onely publickly, but also, [Page 59] from house to house v. 20. nay that for three years, night and day, he cea­sed not to warn euery one with tears; which expressions do certainly de­note a greater frequency than that of their publick Synaxes, where their Preaching was in use; besides that the words [...], used for e­very one, cannot be understood of them Collectively, but Distributively and singly. There is a remarkable saying quoted by Clemens [...]. Trad [...]e. sub nomine S. Mat­thiae Apostole apud Clem. Alex. Strom. vii. p. 537. Edit. Lugd. Bat. 1616. Alexandrinus from an ancient Apocriphal work: that the companion of a good man can hardly perish without involving the good man himself in a participa­tion of the blame; which is certainly, in a more severe sense, verifiable of a person engaged in the Clerical Calling, because of the charge with which they are peculi­arly intrusted. The charge it self you may read in Ezech. xxxiii. (a passage I conceive very well worthy some serious thoughts before you [Page 60] undertake Orders) If the destructi­on come, and take away any of your charge, whosoever he be, he dyes in his sins; but you, if you have not warned him, are responsible for him. Now I do not see how you can be said to have warned him, when you have not taken the pains to inform your self of his con­dition; for considering that you are not now to expect Revelations, but to judg a posteriori, by the appea­rances and ordinary course of things; you cannot warn any of danger but such as appear in a state of Demerit, to whom God has threatned it, and that, how culpable it is, cannot be judged without ex­amination of particular circum­stances. For do not believe that the Pulpit-denunciation of judgments can suffice, or that it can reach the end of these warnings, the terrify­ing men from their sins, so as not onely to make them entertain some struggling velleities against them, but also to endeavour an effectual relin­quishment of them. For either they [Page 61] are Indefinite and Hypothetical, in­volving [...]deed all sinners in the dan­ger, but not telling who are such, so that the application (which is of the most effectual influence for the re­duction of any particular person) is left entirely to the too-partially-af­fected disposition of the person him­self (whose very judgment being either diverted or depraved by his vices, so that he is unwilling or una­ble to discern them to be so, and his very conscience by that means either actually or habitualiy seared) he can be never likely to condemn himself, unless he be reduced by a particu­lar consideration of his own, for which he is not beholding to the Ministery; or they are so managed as that indeed no man can have rea­son upon that account to be particu­larly terrified. For considering that those denunciations that are general do concern those remainders of sin which are as long-lived as themselves in the most pious per­sons; and accordingly that the Publick confessions of sins, where­in [Page 62] the pious as well as the impious are concerned to joyn, and that with­out dissimulation or falshood, are such as are confessed, in the very same forms, to deserve the penalties so denounced, and yet it is most cer­tain that no condemnation does belong to them; nay, though they con­stantly commit the like sins, and therefore periodically have need of reiterating the same Confessions, as not being encouraged to believe it possible to relinquish all such sins, but onely to strive against them; by this means persons are accustomed to confess themselves sinners, nay, and great ones too, and to deserve the severest of these Comminations, and yet all this without any terrour, supposing all this to be common to them with the Holyest men living, to whom undoubtedly no terrour does belong; these things, I say, being considered, they cannot here­by be obliged to believe themselves actually in danger of these threats, and therefore cannot, for fear of them, be obliged to relinquish ut­terly [Page 63] their endangering demerits. I doubt many a poor Soul does feel this experimentally, who, though they have lived for many years un­der a terrible Ministery, yet never have been thereby actually terrified from those vices to which themselves acknowledg the curse of God to be due, especially if they were secret, and so might escape the censures and particular reproofs of men. Be­sides that by this means of onely Pulpit-reproofs you cannot pretend to say that you have warned such persons as either through Irreligion, or Prophaneness, or contrary perswa­sions (occasions too frequent now a dayes, and comprehending multi­tudes of Souls) forbear the Church, or consequently clear you from be­ing accountable for them. But, though in publick Preaching sins were particularized more than they are, and charged with that peculiar severity they deserve; yet you must remember that they are very few that can prudently be so dealt with: such as generally prevailed, and such [Page 64] as were notorious; so that for all o­thers that are not reducible to these heads, (many of which may prove of as dangerous consequence to the concerned persons themselves as these, if they perish in them.) I do not see how you can chuse but be Responsible, if you do not reprove them by a more close and particular address.

XVI XVI. I know the degeneration of our present Age is so universal herein, and that men are naturally so disingenuous, as that rather than they will acknowledge themselves faulty, they will strain their wits for Palliations and Apologies, espe­cially when countenanced by the practice of men of an otherwise se­vere conversation; that you may not admire if you may find some who may conceive me severe in this point. But you must remember the liberty I have designed in this whole discourse, not to flatter any one in affairs of so hazardous consequence; and I do not doubt but that even those my opponents themselves will [Page 65] believe this way, though more se­vere, yet certainly, more excellent and more secure, and therefore though it were onely doubtful, yet it were more conveniently practicable. But for my part, I think it so little doubtful, as that, laying aside that unwillingness that either interest, or the surprisal of a Novelty, may cre­ate in many against its reception; I think there can be little pretended that may cause a rational scruple to an unprejudiced understanding per­son. For if a general denunciation of Gods anger against impenitents had been sufficient, and no more particular application had been ne­cessary to have been made than what had been the result of the guilty Consciences, or the good natures, of the persons themselves, or the peculiar Providential preventions of God; I do not see what necessity there had been of the Prophets, as Watchmen, of old; or of Preachers now. For that God is a rewarder and punisher of the actions of wicked men, none ever yet denyed that held [Page 66] a Providence, much less such as owned any written Revelations, which were able more distinctly to inform them what these rewards were; and we know it is the reply of Abraham to Dives, S. Luke. xvi. 31. that if Moses and the Prophets were not able to assure them of the certainty of these future rewards on supposition of their impenitency, neither would they be convinced though a Prea­cher were sent them from the Dead, so that upon this account the sending of Prophets must have been need­less, especially of such as were di­stinct from the penmen of the Ca­nonical books, and were sent on provisional messages, for concern­ing such alone I am at present dis­coursing. Besides the credibility of these rewards depended on the credit of the Law it self, which was antecedent to the mission of Pro­phets, as being that by which they were to be tryed, and therefore could not in any competent way be proved by their Testimony; which will appear the rather credible [Page 67] when it is remembred that temporal calamities were the usual subjects of these ordinary Prophetick messages. The onely thing therefore that they must have been sent for must have been a particular application to the parties concerned. And according­ly this is their method still to deliver their message to the persons them­selves: when to the People, as it was most frequently, in their publick As­semblies; when to their Princes, or to other particular private persons, still their practice was accordingly. Nor did they ever excuse themselves (as too many are apt to do now) when persons apprehended them­selves particularly concerned, by pretending that the application was none of theirs; but still they owned it, and were ready to suffer the in­flictions of those whom they had thus exasperated. And according­ly we find it reckoned among the principal qualifications of a Prophet even by the Jewes themselves, that he be, not onely wise, and rich, but also valiant. And Jeremy is thus [Page 68] encouraged to harden his face like brass, and that he be against the Jewes likeJer. i. 18. vi. 27. xv. 20. an impregnable for­tress, that he should notv 8. fear their faces neitherv. 7. be dismayed; and Esay, as a Type of our Saviour, hardens his face like flint, Isa. l. 7. which I do not know of what pecu­liar use it could prove in this case, unless it were to embolden them that they might not fear the threats or malice of the great ones in the performance of their duty, which they had not been in such danger of without this application. Besides, if this application were not the pe­culiar employment of an ordinary Prophet, I do not understand what it was that was blamed in the false Prophets, whoJer. vi 14. viii. 11. Preached peace when there was no peace. For that ever any of them was so impudent as to deny the truth of Gods de­nunciations against sinners indefinite­ly is no way credible; or that do­ing so, they could find credit in a Nation so signally convinced of a Providence. Their crime therefore [Page 69] must have been, that they flattered the wicked, and either made them believe their faults to be none at all, or not so great as indeed they were; or that God would either excuse them particularly, or not punish them in this life, or not suddenly, or not se­verely. And accordingly also in the New Testament we findAct. vii. 51. 52 S. Ste­phen and theAct. ii. 36 iii. 13. 14. 15. iv. 10. xiii. 10. 11. Apostles charging their crimes home on their Persecu­tors; and to this end endued with an admirableAct. iv 13 29. xlii 46. vid nam. xix. [...], among other gifts of the Holy Ghost then dis­pensed for capacitating them for their office. And that this parti­cular application was not grounded on such particular Revelations whereby those extraordinary per­sons might have been enabled to judge particularly of their cases, for which we, who have none but hu­mane fallible means of knowing the wickedness of mens hearts, may now be thought less sufficient; may appear from the frequent men­tion of this use of particular reproof as an2 Tim iv. 2. Tit. ii. 15. ordinary qualification for [Page 70] the Clerical Calling, and from the like practice of the most ancient Fa­thers and Martyrs, who eve­ry where [...]S. Justin. Martyr against Crescens a Cyni [...]k. Philosopher, and the Romanes Apol. and Tertullian ad Scap. & Apol. S. Cyprian ad Deme­trian, &c. freely in­veigh against the particular scandalous persons of their times, and their Persecutors. But these things are in them­selves obvious, and are a subject too copious to be insisted on at present.

XVII XVII. Supposing therefore this necessity of a particular application, it will be easie to deduce hence the necessity of your skill in Casuistical Divinity. For if you must par­ticularly apply you must particularly know the state of the Conscience you have to deal with. And that you may judge it when known, you must know the means of acquiring all virtues, and of avoiding all vices and sins, and the stress of all Lawes, and the influences of all circumstances con­siderable, and the way of dealing with all tempers; that you may never judge rashly, that you may advise pertinently and successfully, that [Page 71] you may so provide for the present as that you may foresee dangerous consequences, that you may not run Consciences on perplexities by ma­king one duty inconsistent with a­nother; all which do some way or other belong to Casuistical Divi­nity. Especially it will concern you to be some way skilled in all Lawes more immediately relating to Con­science: the Law of nature, and the Positive Lawes of God and the Church, which are to be your Rules in affairs of this nature. And, be­cause the Law of nature intirely, and all other Lawes as to their par­ticular influences and applications to particular Cases, as indeed also all useful humane learning, do some way depend on the accurateness of your method of Reasoning; therefore here it were convenient that you be provided with those requisites for ordering it which are mentioned in my Letter of advice for Studies; for without this your inferences will be same and imperfect, and not se­cure to be relied on by a person in your dangerous condition. XVIII.

[Page 72] XVIII XVIII. But besides these qua­lifications of knowledge, for in­forming people concerning their duty there are also other practical requisites for inducing them to the observation of it. Such are an ex­perience and prudence in the Ars vo­luntatis (as Nierembergius calls it) an undoubted courage and confidence in enduring all difficulties that may, and undoubtedly will, occur in the performance of your duty; a sweet and sociable behaviour that may win, yet grave and serious that may awe, the hearts of men; but above all, even for the sake of your Cure, as well as your own, a holy and exem­plary life. Of these in their Order. First therefore your first qualificati­on of skill in the Ars voluntatis, the Art ofMat. iv. 19. Mark. i. 17. 2 Cor. xii. 16. catching men, that I may speak in the language of our Savi­our, and S. Paul, will require both experience in the nature of these mental diseases, for your information; and prudence in the application of their cure; for without these you can with as little rational confidence [Page 73] venture on their cure as the Physici­an that were neither skilled in Sym­ptomes or Diseases or the virtues of herbs and minerals which are their usual remedies; and were as respon­sible for their miscarriage under your hands as the law makes Empi­ricks and unskilful persons. For un­derstanding the nature of these mental diseases, you must remember that, as virtue is the improvement, so, vice is the debauching of the ra­tional faculties, and therefore you cannot expect to prevail on mens interests and inclinations by a bare representment of the unreasonable­ness of their actions; for it is clear that Reason is no measure of the actions of Brutes; and therefore whilest men live not above the Bru­tal principle, that which is animal and sensual; Reason is as little va­lued by them as the richest Indian gems by the Dunghill Cock in Aesop. So that indeed your work must be first to make them reasonable be­fore you propound your reasons to them; and it is half done when [Page 74] you have made them capable of hearing reason. Whilest therefore they are unreasonable, you must deal with them as we do with chil­dren (it is a similitude excellently urged and illustrated to this pur­pose byPort. Moss. E­dit. Oxo­niens. 1655 p. 38. 139. 140. &c. Maimonides) first al­lure them by motives proportioned to their present capacities, to per­form the material actions of virtue, till by use they be confirmed into a habit, which when it is well rooted, it will then be easie by shewing the rational advantage of them (which they will then be capable of under­standing and perceiving) both to endear their duty, and rectifie their intentions, and so to make them formally virtuous. And the prudent managements of this affair are the [...], mentioned byapud Pl [...]ton. in Phaed. Socrates, thePl. lviii. 5. wise charming in the Psalmist, theS. Mat. x. 16. Serpentine wisedom com­mended by our Saviour, the craft and catching with guile mentioned by1 Cor. xii. 16. St. Paul. Now for this it will be necessary, in point of expe­rience, that you be acquainted with [Page 75] those difficulties in your self (for thus our Saviour himself is observed, by the Author to the Hebrewes, by hisHeb. ii. 17. 18. fellow feeling of our infirmi­ties, to be qualified for his being a merciful High Priest, and being able to succor them that are tempted) and ‘in others; both as to their tem­pers, and habitual inclinations, and callings, and daily conversati­ons, and the temptations likely to occur: to know the material virtues they are inclined to, and to lay hold on the mollia tempora f [...]ndi, their good humours, and lucid intervals, and Providential impulses;’ for without these things you cannot know either how to win them, or how to keep them, and secure them from Apostacy especially if of a fickle and variable humour, as most men are in their spiritual resolutions. Besides Prudence will be necessary as to all its requisites: Circumspection, to discern the whole case as to all the Precepts and Prohibitions to which the Action may be obnoxious; all the Inclinations, [Page 76] and those many times very different, if not contrary, in the same persons; all the circumstances accusing or ex­cusing, of which allowance is to be had; Caution, in a foresight of all dangers, which upon the aforesaid considerations may be probably ex­pected, and in allowing for future probable contingencies: Iudgment, in accommodating the Lawes, and the Actions, and the Inclinations of the Patient in a due proportion, and providing for their seemingly-con­tradictious necessities.

XIX XIX So also, that Boldness and Courage is another qualification for this purpose, seems clear, not onely from the Old Testament pas­sages intimated formerly concerning Prophets, but also, from the New Testament where it is usua [...]ly men­tioned as a [...] of the Spirit that was to fit them for the discharge of their Clerical Calling. Thus the confidence of St. Peter and St. John was admired by the Sadducees Act. iv. 13. which is intimated to have proceeded from the Spirit▪ v. 8. and [Page 77] accordingly this was also prayed for for the future v. 29. And this is also observed concerning St. Paul af­ter his addresses to the exercise of his office, that he was Strengthned in his disputations with the Jewes, Acts. ix. 22. which is Paraphrased by his speaking boldly in the name of Jesus v. 27. And this I conceive to be thatMat. vii. 29. Mark. i. 22 Luk. iv. 32. Preaching with Au­thority mentioned concerning our Saviour; and that1 Cor. ii. 4. Preaching with Power, in the evidence and de­monstration of the Spirit, concern­ing the Apostles. And indeed with­out this you can never expect to be able to undergo the difficulties you must engage in, in the performance of your duty. For how can you tell the great ones of their scanda­lous Sins, or reprove gainsayers, or shame the guilty, or destroy the confederacies of the Wicked, with­out exasperating many vitiously dis­posed minds against you? And if you fear shame, or the spoyling of your goods, or the pain of your body, or death it self; you must [Page 78] needs fear those in whose power it is to inflict them on you; and if you do so, then, considering that they are so fondly enamoured of those things that tend to their ruine as that they bear their deprivation with impatience, and, like madmen, prosecute their benefactors with de­tractions and hostilities (so little sensible they are of the favour con­ferred on them, in disswading and restraining them from them) you can never, upon those terms, be able to rescue them from their danger. This is a qualification, though now extremely neglected, of so very mo­mentous consequence, as that I shall beseech you to be tender of it, for your Flocks sake, if not for your own. For, believe it, their everlast­ing welfare depends more nearly on the fidelity of your admonition; and it is to little purpose for you to keep the watch if you do not give warning at the approach of danger; or, with the Dog, to observe the flock, if you do not bark when the Wolf is ready to devour them. Let [Page 79] not therefore the pretence of youth­full modesty, or the danger of pe­tulancy or unmannerliness, or the accusation of incivility, or a slavish comp [...]iance with the ceremonies of the World, or whatever other pre­tences may be produced by such as are either willing to Apologize for their neglect in this kind, or are conscious of something in them­selves that may deserve the exercise of this dreaded severity (as men are generally too ingenious in palli­ating the occasions of their own ruine) rob you of a jewel wherein the security of so many Souls is so nearly concerned. You may, I be­lieve, think it difficult, how to bring your self to it, and when you have it, how to beware of offending on the opposite extreme, of being petu­lant and impertinent, and rendring your self unsociable. For acquiring it I should advise you to take care of spending your Tyrocinium under the wings of a Patron, at least such a one as would be offended with your Freedom; but rather in a ma­nagement [Page 80] of an inferior little Fami­ly. 1 Tim. iii. 4. 5. And this may serve for acquiring an habit of con­fidence. But then for the reason of it, if I may take you for the person the former qualifications have sup­posed you to be, you cannot be un­provided: for he who values not any Worldly enjoyment as great, can never be awed by any worldly Pomp; and he that undervalues e­ven death it self, the King of Ter­rours, can never be affrighted by the means of any mortal, how great soever, whose power can extend no further, from the performance of his duty. But then for avoyding the other extreme of petulancy; be­lieve it First, that, if you could not avoyd it, yet it were much the safer excess both for your flock, and for your self: for your flock, who must needs be less prejudiced by being charged with fau [...]ts they are not guilty of, or unseasonably, than by being permitted in a total ignorance of such as are unquestionably dan­gerous, a false alarm being sometimes [Page 81] more secure than none at all; and for your self, your imprudences in this kind being alleviated by many commendable ingredients, a zeal for God, and a conscientious sense of your duty, and a good intention, and the preservation of a vigilant and active Spirit, which is more frequently useful in your profession than its restraint. But Secondly, for avoyding it, if you take care that neither your self, nor the person concerned, be in a passion when you advise him, you will both find him more tractable, and your self more ruleable, and more steady, in ob­serving the prescriptions you have resolved on before. And then for furnishing you with such rules of restraint of anger other ordinary books may be sufficient; and there­fore I forbear.

XX. So also for your Conver­sation, XX that it must be Sweet and Winning, may appear from the supposals already premised. For, considering that the persons, you have to deal with, are not as yet [Page 82] supposed capable of reason; and your very prescriptions themselves, bluntly proposed, are sufficient to make them averse from hearkning to you, and so to frustrate your whole design by an unseasonable precipitation; you must therefore first allure them, not by the reasons of the duties themselves, but by that great good will you are to shew to them, whereby they may be in­duced, as Children are, upon ac­count of their Parents, or other friends they are fond of, to believe that you would never advise them such things if you were not very confident that they would effectu­ally conduce to their good. Now to convince them of this your good will, you must condescend to their Childish apprehensions as far as is lawful, that is, you must shew it by a sweet and willing readiness to pro­mote that which themselves con­ceive to be for their good where it may not prove really inconsistent with it, by an avoyding all needless occasions of offending them, and [Page 83] by that means shewing an unwilling­ness to impose any thing on them to which they are averse, without a great conviction of its being useful for their greater interests. But for this end you need not imitate them in all their actions; for that were not to reach them out of the ditch, but to fall in your self for Company. But you must bear with their imper­tinencies, and still (as near as you can) proportion their present duty to their present habitual abilities, not discouraging them in their fay­lings, but rather thence taking oc­casion to stir them up to a greater future diligence; and have a care of making them entertain harsh and unworthy notions of Religion: that it is a state of life, melancholy and sad, and a perpetual valediction to all joy and comfort; that it renders a man burdensome to himself, and trouble­some to all the Society with whom he does converse; that it is so wholly de­signed for future hopes as that it can have no portion in present enjoyments. Rather let them know by your [Page 84] doctrine and behaviour, that it is not an exchange of joy for sorrow, even in this life but of inferior, baser, less solid and less lasting ones for such as are incomparably more valuable and more secure; and that it is so far from disturbing or embittering Socie­ties as that, on the contrary, it obliges both to love and to be worthy to be beloved, to do all the good we can to all mankind, which must needs mutually endear them; and qualifie them for a mutual renunciation of their own wills in complyance with each other, and that indeed, not onely by way of com­plement. By all means therefore be chearful before company, that you may not bring an ill report upon the pleasant land of Promise, like the murmuring spiesNum. x [...]ii. xiv. but take a special complacency in seeing others chearful as well as your self (it was Recorded as a saying of our Savi­our in the interpolated Gospel ac­cording to the Nazarenes: Nunquam laeti sitis nisi cùns fratres in charitate videritis) and do not willingly give any offence to any, but where justice [Page 85] and their own greater interest re­quire it; and even then, take care that their offence rather be, at their own guilt, than your way of admoni­tion, at least beware that they may have no just reason to do so. But especially take care to behave your self chearfully in your exercises of austerity that they may understand that there are indeed other joyes besides those of sense, and that they are chiefly then to be expected when the mind is freest from world­ly solaces. But that which will be a special endearment of you to So­ciety, will be neither to speak evil of any behind their backs your self, nor to hearken to such as would; to prevent all quarrels before your presence, which will be easier, either by preventing the occasion or in­crease of passion, which will be also so much easier if it be taken before it grow unruleable; or by diverting the discourse, or withdrawing one from the other; or, if they be al­ready fallen out, by endeavouring their reconciliation, and a good un­derstanding [Page 86] among them for the fu­ture; to be the common preserva­tive of peace among your flock, and the Arbitrator of their differences. Yet you must withall take heed that this complyance be not prejudicial to that gravity and seriousness which is necessary for preserving that Sacrd respect to your Office primarily, and to your Person in regard of your Office, which is ne­cessary for deterring many, even in a mute way, from their sins, by vir­tue of those unobliterated impressi­ons of Conscience and Modesty, and that slavish honour of virtue and shame of vice, which naturally seize on the most debauched persons ima­ginable. And seeing that the whole recommendation of your Doctrine is, as I said before, in accommodati­on to these Childish apprehensions of the vulgar, resolved into their esteem of your person; you ought above all things to be tender of those requisites that are necessary either for acquiring this esteem, or its preservation. And this seeming [Page 87] contradiction that seems to be be­twixt this Complyance and Awful­ness may thus conveniently be re­conciled, if you observe, that your Complyance be in your Censures, but your Awfulness in your Practice; by being a mild Judge of other mens Actions, but a severe censurer of your own; condemning onely evil things in others, but the very ap­pearances of it in your self (as you must needs do if you would be ex­emplary, and you must be exempla­ry if you would awe) for in order to your own practice, you must con­sider, not onely the nature of the thing, but the Decorum of your per­son (which, because it is so necessa­ry for capacitating you for the dis­charge of your Calling, you must be obliged to observe under pain of Sin) so that that may be lawful for a Laick, which cannot be so for you. For your own persons sake therefore you are to forbear, not onely such things as are unlawful in their own nature, but such as are inexpedient; not onely such as are inexpedient, but [Page 88] such as are indecent; not onely such as are indecent for others, but such as are so for you; not onely such as are so, but such as may appear so; not onely such as may appear so on just and reasonable grounds, but such as may be thought so by others, and so may engage them in sin, though unjustly and unreasonably. Nay, even in things that were lawful for you, it were well that, it they be any thing light and trivial, as exercises & recreations, or telling of merry sto­ries: that they were either not done before the vulgar Laity; or if they be, that they be managed with such sparingness and abstemiousness, that it may appear that they are rather used for their profit than their plea­sure, and therefore that you be nei­ther tedious nor eagerly concerned in them. But most of all you are to take care of jeasting with the infe­rior Laity themselves, who, as they are less capable of reason, and so more awed by these ceremonial di­stances, are also more apt to despise you, when they see them transgres­sed by you.

[Page 89] XXI. But that which is the first second and third requisite for this Calling, as the Orator said concern­ing Pronunciation in Rhetorick, is a Holy and an exemplary Life. For seeing that the vulgar is thus to be decoyed to embrace your Doctrine, not for its Reason, but for the respect they are first to entertain for its Preacher; as you must maintain your own credit among them, that they may be ready to believe what is taught them by you, so you must also let them understand that what you teach them is indeed believed by your self, and they can have no reason to believe you do so unless they see you practice it. For do not the same duties oblige, and the same menaces belong to you, as to them; and cannot you (even by your own confession) expect a more favourable hearing (if you may not fear one more severe for the reasons already mentioned) and is Hell and Damnation the acknowledg­ed reward of those actions you are guilty of your self? If you were [Page 90] fearful that this were true, certainly you would not venture on them; if you be not, how is it credible that you do believe them? If you do not believe them your self, how can you perswade others to believe them for your sake, who are (as I said before) uncapable themselves of judging of your solid Reasons. How little solid soever this way of arguing be in it self, yet assure your self, it is that on which the practices of the vulgar, to whose apprehensi­ons you are to accommodate your self in this affair, are mainly ground­ed. I might have shewn you also further, what influence this would have in procuring the qualifications already mentioned, that belong to Morality. For Experience; you must needs be better acquainted in dealing with other mens conditions, when you had first tryed their weak­nesses in your self. This would in­form you how tender a thing Con­science is, and yet how ticklish; how many misunderstandings it is obnoxious to, and how it is influen­ced [Page 91] by the difference of mens hu­mours and constitutions. And this must, at least, make you tender and cautions in dealing with them. For Prudence also, that being no­thing else but the impartiality where­by right Reason is able to judge con­cerning circumstances; and the recti­tude of Reason consisting in the im­munity of the understanding from all prejudices, either intellectual or moral; holiness of life contributing to this immunity, removing those moral prejudices which are of grea­test concernment here, must also be considerably advantageous for ena­bling it to judge prudently. So also for Courage and Confidence, how can he fear the faces of men who undervalues all that for which they fancy themselves so very terrible, even Death it self with whatsoever aggravations; who has the encou­ragement of glorious future hopes, and present visitations; who is ful­ly confident of the good will of God (from whom he receives them, when incurred in his Service) that [Page 92] his Tribulations shall be proporti­oned to his abilities; and according­ly that, if they be great, his Con­solations shall be the more, which are so much valuable beyond them, that the severest Tribulations prove in the event the greatest Blessings, as intitling him to them? So also it has been already shewn how a sweet and sociable, yet grave and serious, behaviour is either the express duty of Religion it self, especially that of a Clergieman, or a necessary conse­quence from that excellent temper Religious exercises are likely to bring its Practitioners to.

XXII XXII. Now because this Sancti­tie of life, as in you, must also be Exemplary, it will therefore be necessary that it have two qualifica­tions: that it be Excellent, and that it be Conspicuous. For an Example must be understood, in regard of them to whom it is pro­pounded, to have the notion of a Rule; and a Rule must be able to rectifie the Actions that are to be ruled by it; which it cannot do if [Page 93] either there be any obliquity in it self, or if its rectitude be unknown to the party concerned in it. Its Excellency must be necessary in respect of the Vulgar, who are concerned to imi­tate it; and therefore must exceed the strict duty of a Laick; for usu­ally Learners do allow themselves a liberty of falling short of their Co­py, and therefore if ever the Laity do reach the severity of their Pa­stor; either they must thence for­ward not make his Practice their Precedent, or be incurious of a further progress. The former I have already intimated, how dispropor­tionable it is to their ordinary ap­prehensions. And how dangerous the later is, every mans experience may inform him; that whilest he growes negligent, he looses what he has, as well as fails of the gains he might have made; and besides that is never likely to reach to that per­fection, at which, it is the duty of a Laick, as well as a Clergieman, to aim. And you must remember with what savour they are likely to [Page 94] judge their own having reached your example. Besides, you should consider that they will not measure their own perfection by the multi­tude of duties, but the excellent manner of performing them; and that they are all sensible (of what is truth whether they were so or not) that you are obliged to some duties in which they are not any wayes concerned; and that there­fore they discharging their own du­ties as well as you do yours, though they be fewer, yet that they are e­qual with you. You must there­fore so behave your self as to neg­lect no part of your duty: whether as to your general, or your particular Calling; as a Christian, or as a Cler­gieman, that may be subject to the observation of men (for this kind of Perfection is acknowledged pos­sible by all Protestants) and that, not onely in omitting no duty, but in performing all the good that may be expected from your Profession. Otherwise how can youS. Pet iii. 16. silence Blasphemers with confusion and shame [Page 95] whilest they may have any just oc­casion of carping at you? How can youTit. ii. 10. i. Pet. ii. 12. adorn your Profession, and bring even Infidels to an acknow­ledgment of the glory of God by the excellency of your Conversati­on. Remember that these expres­sions now mentioned from the A­postles are set down as the duty of Private Christians; and what seve­rity must then be necessary for them who are to be patterns, not onely to the world; but also to those who are to be their Precedents? And be­sides your greater duties, it will con­cern you to be punctual even in small things; in fulfilling your du­ty, and performing your promises, how frivolous soever the matter were; for this was it that gained the Pharisees such a reputation of Sanctity, and yet not blamed by our Saviour; but their Hypocrisie in ob­serving these minute things with a scrupulous severity, but neglecting the weightier matters of the Law without reluctancy. But especially it will concern you to be cautious [Page 96] and severe in such virtues as con­cern a moral civil Conversation, and in matters of worldly interest, for these are the peculiar objects of the Love, and consequently of the jea­lousie of the Vulgar, and therefore here you may expect to find them most severely Critical. And if these virtues be taken care of, you may expect to find them more favourable in censuring vices of the Spirit; for this is that which so ingratiates the Quakers and other Ent [...]usiasts with them, whose other vices of un­charitable censoriousness, and Spiri­tual pride, and Imperious dogmatizing, are so far from being noted by them as that, when they gain Proselytes it is not upon rational accounts (which they disclaim under the opprobri­ous name of carnal reasonings) but by a recommendation of their Per­sons, upon account of their severe observation of secular Justice.

XXIII XXIII. But it is also further necessary that this Excellency be conspicuous. And this qualification, though of Excellent use for your [Page 97] Flock, may prove of dangerous con­sequence to your self, if not dis­creetly managed. The use of it for the good of others appears from those passages of Scripture, where­in Christians are calledS. Ma. v. 13. Mark. ix. 50. Luk. xiv. 34. the salt of the Earth, Mat. v. 14. the City that is placed on a hill, and cannot be hid, [...] Phil. ii. 15. the Luminaries of the World, Mat. v. 15. Mark iv. 21. Luk. viii. 16. xi. 33. not to be concealed un­der bushels, but placed in Candlesticks; and where they are commanded Mat. v. 16. to let their light so shine before men, that they might see their good works, and glorifie their Father which is in Heaven; many of which are spoken indeed to private Christians as well as others; but especially concern the Clergie, who are to be luminaries to the Commonalty as they are to the Gentile World. And upon this account (the necessity of the Church requiring it) St. Paul himself [...]. becomes a fool (it is his own expression) even in publish­ing the materials of his own praise: the sufferings, and miracles, nay the Revelations which were such as [Page 98] might not onely prefer him before the false Apostles, but equal him to the true ones themselves. And most expresly he perswades themRom. xii. 17. 2 Cor. viii. 21. to provide for things honest, not onely be­fore God, but also before men. Ac­cordingly the Bishops by the Ancient Canons were not to go any where without the attendance of some of their Clergie that might be able to give Testimony of their behaviour; and St. Ambrose, Au­gustin. Lib. vi. Confess. c. 3. that severe distributer of his time, prohibited none for coming to him at any time, though he supposed that persons would not be so unmannerly as to disturb him unnecessarily when they saw him better employed, as St. Augustine witnesses; and another Bishop, inAca­cius Ber­ae [...]rs Soz [...]m. Eccl. Hist. Lib. vii. c 27. Ni [...]eth. Cal. Lib. xii. c. 17. Sozomen is mentioned to have kept open house that any might at any time surprize him if engaged in any indecent Action. You must not therefore think that when our Saviour reproves the Pha­risees for doing their Actions so S. Ma. vi. 2. 5. that they might be seen of men, and on the contrary seems to pre­scribe [Page 99] such a secrecy as thatIb. v. 3. the right hand may not know what the left hand does, that it is in all cases for­bidden that our good Actions be known, or that we are alwayes ob­liged to conceal them; but that it is expedient that we conceal them when their publication may not be peculiarly serviceable for the edifi­cation of others; not to publish them for any complacency we are to take in them our selves, but mere­ly for that Service to God for which we may be enabled by our Reputa­tion among men. I confess the pub­lication of virtues is very disadvan­tageous in several regards for the person: partly because Experience shewes that the heats of Religious Passions themselves, as well as others, evaporate by being vented; partly because it exposes us more to the in­spection and Censures of men, which, whatever they be, may prove dan­gerous to us if they be intended by us. For it is hard to intend them without some complacency and con­cernedness in them, which, whether [Page 100] it be for God's sake or our own, is alike dangerous. For if we be con­cerned, then we must needs be dis­couraged if they fall contrary to our expectations; or if they prove fa­vourable, it will be very hard to distinguish what is useful for the Service of God, and what onely gratifies our own humours in the ob­ject of our complacencies; which difficulty is by so much the more dangerous, inasmuch as it is more Spiritual, and less easily discernible, virtues either supposed or real being its most dangerous temptation; which is a deplorable case, to be at the expence of denying our selves, and suffering all the difficul­ties of materially virtuous Actions, and yet to loose the reward of them by seeking it unduly and preposte­rously. But on the other side, the conveniences of having your Reso­lutions and several of your Actions known, are: that exposing your self hereby to publick censure, you may, if true, take them for warnings and admonitions; if false, for tryals [Page 101] and exercises of your Patience; that you may therefore terrifie and awe your self into a greater caution, when you remember so many Criti­cal eyes ready to observe your lap­ses; that you may avoyd many impertinent temptations which all will be ashamed to motion to a per­son unlikely to entertain them. And assure your self that it were much more beneficial for the edifi­cation of your Flock, that you were Hypocritical than Licentious; and that it is the safer extreme to e [...]r in professing too much than too little, as long as it does not appear that your Profession is not real. For the Hypocrite onely perishes him­self, but may notwithstanding save others though himself be Reprobate, as the Apostle does1 Cor. [...]. [...]7. imply, and he honours Religion even in coun­terfeiting it, which must needs alle­viate his condemnation. But the scandalous licentious person is like the Dragon in the Revelations, [...]. 4. that involves the very Stars in his own ruine, or like him in the Gospel, [Page 102] who not onely breaks the Evangeli­cal prescriptions himself, but also teaches others to do so too, who though he do it in the most frivolous instances, yet our Saviour himself threatens that he should be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, none at all, as it is usually under­stood S. Matth. v. 19. though, for my part, I had rather understand by the Kingdom of Heaven, the Gospel-state (for this seems to be the notion of it S. Matth. iii. 2. iv. 17. x. 7. xi. 11. xiii. 24. 31. 33. 41. 44. 45. 47. 52. xviii. 23. xx. 1. xxii. 2. xxv. 1. and of the Kingdom of God S. Matth. xii. 28. xxi. 43. Mark i. 15. iv. 26. 30. Luk. iv. 43. vii. 28. viii. 1. x. 9, 11. xi. 20. xiii. 18. 20. and accordingly the Gospel it self is cal­led the Gospel of the Kingdom, and they who are interes [...]ed in it, the Sons of the Kingdom, upon several occasions) and by the being least therein, the least participation of its priviledges, according to which the meaning will be: that he who tea­ches men to despise the least injun­ctions [Page 103] of the Gospel (who yet may still own himself a Professor of it, which cannot justly be pretended of him that teaches to despise the grea­test) shall enjoy least of the Gospel priviledges, whether it be in a di­minution of his reward, or a miti­gation of punishment, or in enjoy­ing exterior priviledges onely in op­position to the interior. I have the rather mentioned these perswasions because I verily believe the fear of being noted of Singularity and Hypocrisie & Affectation does dete [...]r many, not onely of the Laity, but the complying Clergie themselves of our Church, from making an exteri­or profession of what they do most conscientiously practice in private; to whose consideration I shall onely at present recommend that severe threatning of our Lord,Mar. vii. 38. Luk. ix. 26. that of them who are ashamed of him before men he will also be ashamed before his Father and his holy Angels. Now that you may accommodate these difficulties together, and so let your other virtues appear, as that their [Page 104] appearance may not prove prejudi­cial to your modesty; you must take heed that that publick applause do not provoke you to think better of your self than you really deserves which you may have reason to a­voyd, if you remember: that what­ever men think of you, yet you are really no greater than God knowes you to be, and that by this measure you must expect your reward; that men are fallible in their judgments, judg­ing according to Fondness, or Affe­ction, or Charity, which will not one­ly provoke, but oblige, them to judge well when they find no reason to the contrary, though indeed there be; by which means good men themselves may be mistaken in judging too favourably of you, and that commendably, in reference to themselves; and in their Informa­tions, knowing nothing but the bare action, but not the intention from whence all its morality is most pro­perly, and most securely, estimable. Be sure therefore that this shewing your works to others be like the [Page 105] Exod. xiv. 14. Cloud in the Wilderness, which on the one side enlightned the Israe­lites, but on the other darkned the Egyptians. So let their excellencies appear outwardly, that they may stir up your Spectators to the praise of God, and the emulation of your Example, as that, at the same time, onely their Imperfections may ap­pear inwardly to your self, which may prostrate you to as low a Hu­miliation. Besides, it were well that besides what they knew, you would reserve some greater Excellencie unknown, for which you might one­ly have regard to God, who sees in secret what he will openly reward. For if you can do any Excellent action for which you can have no motive or design in this World, then it will be clear that, even in those whereby you may gain secular ap­plause, yet that is not your either onely, or ultimate, motive. And in general, where you find their com­mendations exceed your merits, let it stir you up to a virtuous shame of being less worthy than you seem.

[Page 106] XXIV XXIV. But that without which all these qualifications will not suf­fice, if separated from it, and with­out which you cannot prudently venture on such a dangerous Cal­ling, is a Resolution of persisting in them all firmly and unmoveably for the future. For this is the pru­dent consideration of the builder so much commended by our Saviour, (and you must remember that the Analogie holds very well in the Clerical Calling, for as himself is called an Architect, 1 Cor. iii. 10. so his employment is called Edification, not onely there, but also Rom. xv. 20. Gal. ii. 18. 2 Cor. x. 8. xii. 19. xiii. 10. Eph. ii. 20. 21. iv. 11. 12.) that built his house upon a Rock, against which neither the rainy Tor­rent, nor the violent Rivers, nor the Tempestuous Winds, were able to prevail. S. Matth. vii. 24. 25. For you must remember that not to main­tain your building is as great an In­consideration as not to finish it; though indeed, final Perseverance being the onely accomplishment of [Page 107] this building, it cannot be finished if it be not maintained. You must therefore besides the former quali­fications, which are requisite to this purpose, remember that the Calling, you are undertaking, will oblige you for your life, and therefore your choice, if imprudently made, will therefore be of worse consequence, because it is irrevocable; so that your chief care must be to foresee whether you be able to persevere afterwards in maintaining what you have begun, and that for your whole life. And for this end you must consider your qualifications them­selves: whether they have appeared onely in single Acts or in Habits; or if in Habits, whether they be newly acquired or strongly confirmed and rooted by custome; for you cannot trust any other Habits for their du­ration for so long a time. Besides you must consider whether your Temper be fickle, or stable; if it be fickle, you can trust no Habits them­selves longer than you persevere in the same humour, or till they may [Page 108] decay gradually according to the method of their acquisition. Then also you must consider the difficul­ties you may have occasion to con­flict with, which if they be less than those you have already dealt with or equal, you may hope to persevers but if greater, you cannot conclud [...] that, because your Habits have bee [...] so confirmed as not to yield to smal­ler difficulties, therefore they would be able to hold out in greater try­als. And for those you must not onely foresee such as you are likely to encounter at your first entrance upon this holy Calling, but such as you may probably meet with in the course of your whole life, but still with regard to the proficiencie you may make in confirming those Ha­bits you have against the time you may have occasion to meet them in, if you be not deficient to your self. Nor would I have you think that I herein make your future hopes of the grace of God a Cypher, in requi­ring you to foresee all future diffi­culties, and to measure them by [Page 109] [...]roportion to your present strengths; or you see I do not deny the ne­ [...]essitie of the grace of God for [...]ringing you to this excellent frame [...]f Spirit I have been hitherto des­ [...]ribing; nor all such hopes of Grace [...]or the future as may be grounded [...]n Covenant-conditions, your coo­peration and improvement of what you have at present; so that the onely Grace whose hopes I have seemed to exclude, is that which is extraordinary and uncovenanted, such as is all that which is necessary for overcoming those difficulties, which you have voluntarily incurred your self, and which were not like­ly to befall you in an ordinary course of Providence, nor are brought upon you by an extraordinary. But as for other difficulties, which cannot be foreseen, but are merely casual in respect of second causes; you need not be so anxious, but leave them confidently to that Providence which has prohibited your careful­ness for them; and do not fear your being disappointed in such depen­dences [Page 110] as are not rash and imprudent, as long as you are otherwise careful [...] of performing those duties on which your title to these promises does de­pend.

XXV XXV. If you be already engaged in Orders, as this discourse suppose [...] you not to be, you may be tempted to think all that has hitherto been said digressive and unseasonable. But you will find no reason to do so after a little recollection. For as, if you be not, there will be no oc­casion for such a surmise; so if you be, yet it will be useful to you, if not as a warning to shew you what you are to do, yet at least as an in­formation, both what you ought to have done before, and what you ought therefore to be penitent for, if you hitherto have neglected it, and upon what you are to lay out your whole endeavours for the fu­ture. But, to proceed, supposing now that you are the person I have been hitherto describing, you cannot stand in need of any particular Rules; for if you be thus called by [Page 111] God you shall be taught by him in the performance of the duty to which he has called you (I mean this Teaching as well as the Call in an or­dinary Providential sense, which is that wherein the Prophesies concern­ing it are verified under the Gospel) for both this Prudence and other abi­lities will be able to guide, and this Piety to suggest, what is fit to be done upon all particular exigencies; and as those themselves are gifts of the Spirit, so their improvement will intitle you to greater, so that their direction and influence is rather to be imputed to God than man, though it be true, that now by vir­tue of the Evangelical Covenant they are usually conferred in the use of ordinary means, and this reaching particular circumstances must needs make all rules unnecessary. If you do not understand this coherence, you may more clearly by this chain of principles: First, the Providen­tial teaching and direction of God is that of right reason, so that they that are led by it are led by God; Se­condly, [Page 112] that we may be led by right reason two things are necessary, and these two are perfectly sufficient: First, that the rational faculties be rectified; and Secondly, that the lower appetite and other executive faculties be in a ready disposition of being obedient to reason. And both these must needs have been supposed in the qualifications now mentioned. For the rectifying of the rational faculty does require onely: that nothing be taken for granted precariously, and that the understanding be not diverted from its ordinary natural course of exa­mining things to the full; for it is from the first principles of reason impossible that the understanding taking no principles for granted but such as deserve to be so, and pro­ceeding orderly in deducing conse­quences from them, should be mista­ken. I do not mean that the un­derstanding proceeding thus is al­wayes infallible as to the nature of the thing, because it may mistake some principles for self-evident that [Page 113] are not so, merely upon an account of that natural dulness it contracts from the body; but it is alwayes infallible as a rule of Morality, that is, the lower faculties conforming to it can never be guilty of any Immorali­ty, because the error, if any be, must needs be invincible, and so inculpable. And upon this account God, who does not undertake, nor is concern­ed, to direct the understanding any further than it is necessary for the saving of the person, cannot be rea­sonably conceived to have any other Infallibility in his design than this moral one, at least, is not obliged to have it. Now for the rectifying of the rational faculties you are First, supposed to have used means for informing it by your skill in those several Studies which have been hi­therto advised; you are Secondly, disswaded and prevented from im­bibing any prejudices, or any cor­rupt affections for one party by your immediate recourse to the O­riginals themselves; you are Third­ly, advised for the most accurate im­provement [Page 114] of your judgment in a clear and advantageous method of reasoning; and Fourthly, in the use of all these means you have been shewn how you may in an ordinary way be confident of the assistance of Divine Providence in such cases as you cannot secure your self in by your moral diligence: whether for removing such prejudices as you could otherwise hardly discover to be so; or by Providential placing you in such circumstances wherein those reasons may offer themselves to your cognizance which you could otherwise never have discovered; or by capacitating your judgment for a more equal censure concerning them; whether by improving your natural capacity to a more than or­dinary perspicuity; or by rendring intellectual objects more intelligible by your greater experience, and fa­miliarity, and fixation of your mind upon them; or by fitting them to such times when your judgment may be less distracted, and conse­quently more quick and apprehen­sive; [Page 115] and by giving his holy Spirit by virtue of which they are to be discerned. Now when all these things are thus secured, certainly there cannot be more probable hu­mane means thought on for finding even the truth it self, and therefore the rational faculties must have the greatest security they are capable of, and to greater they cannot be obliged. And then, considering that natural reason thus purified is Prov. xx. 27. the candle of the Lord, and that the Spirit which may thus be expe­cted is theJoh. xvi. 13. Spirit that leadeth into all truth, and the [...] Joh. ii. 20. 27. Divine unction that teaches all things; I do not see why it may not be said as truly here as it was falsely said of Act. xii. 22. Herod, that the judgment of Reason thus rectified is not the voice of man, but of God. And then for the second thing required to this rectitude of Reason, the subjection of the lower Appetite to the supe­rior part of the Soul thus rectified, that is the whole design of a good life, a qualification already suffici­ently [Page 116] recommended, which there­fore needs not to be further spoken of at present.

XXVI XXVI. So that, if you be already Ordained, you see, that according to these principles, your main duty will be, either seriously to set your self to the acquiring these qualifica­tions, if you have hitherto neglected them; or, if you have not, to take a care of keeping your Garment that none may see your shame, and reteining your first love (the very warnings of our Saviour himself to those of your profession Rev. iii. 18. ii. 4.) to persevere in those excellent dis­positions that you have so happily begun, and from thence to deduce Rules for your following practices. For rendring these requisites a little more useful, I shall onely add two things more, and so put an end to your present disturbance. The first shall be concerning the manner ei­ther of acquiring, or exercising th [...]se gifts, especially relating to practice, that may be most beneficial both to your self, and the publick; the se­cond [Page 117] concerning the manner of dea­ling with your Parishioners that may make them capable of your Instru­ctions. Concerning the former, it has been already intimated before, that the most proper way of per­swading mankind is first to allure them to the performance of actions materially virtuous, and by a frequent repetition of them to beget an easi­ness and delight, and a rooted habit, which, when acquired, and that averseness and sensuality, which be­fore had rendred men uncapable of good counsels, being removed, you may then propound your reasons with success, and rectifie their in­tentions, and render them formally virtuous. That therefore which will most concern you for the Pub­lick as well as your own Soul, is, the rectifying your intention. Seeing therefore right intention is to be measured from the due end, you must take care that all your Religi­ous actions in general be designed with an intention so habitual and deeply rooted, as that all particular [Page 118] ones may, according to the degree of deliberation they proceed from, partake of the same either virtually and interpretatively, or explicitely and particularly. Now the proper end of Religious actions being the ser­vice and pleasing of God, you must take care that they be performed with that design which you know to be most pleasing to him: and that is the doing them purposely for his sake; and that they are so done you may best satisfie your self by examining whether they proceed from a principle of Divine love. Exercise your self therefore daily to bring your self to this habitual sense of the Divine love, which will even in this life abundantly recom­pence the pains you may be at in acquiring it. For both in respect of your self and of your Flock you shall find it advantageous. To your self the advantages will be: that by this means you shall best secure the reward of your virtuous actions, when you do not onely perform them, but perform them upon a vir­tuous [Page 119] motive; that by this means your duty shall become, not a task, but, a real pleasure, proceeding from such a pleasing and endearing prin­ciple; and having the omnipotence and good will of God to secure you from the fears of disappointment when your desires are reasonable; and as a sure refuge and Sanctuary to have recourse to, when they are not; and that you will not be subject to the slavery of such desires them­selves, which are the Originals of all misery even in this life; and your performance of your duty will be more universal; not onely in things agreeing with your humour, but e­ven in those which are most contra­dictory to it, which will be so much the more acceptable to God by how much it is less so. to our selves. Be­sides, it were well that you would endeavour to render your love as rational as you can, and as little de­pendent on the passions of the lower appetites; for by this means your tranquillity will be continual, and not depend on the vicissitudes of [Page 120] humours; seeing, if you be led onely by reason, that being alwayes true, must consequently be alwayes seasonable; and that the reason whereby you judge concerning your own condition were rather ground­ed on your Actions than your Af­fections, so as never to think better of your self when you find your affections warm, if your actions are not correspondent; nor the worse, when your affections Flagg, your actions still continuing conformable. This rational rectifying of your in­tention would still oblige you to keep an habitual attention and watchfulness over your actions, and yet would make attention it self less necessary by being habitual, and make it less affected. It would make it less necessary, because vir­tuous habits, as well as vitious, would breed a facility and inclination to virtuous actions even antecedently to deliberation. It would make it less affected, because Piety would appear in such actions where affectation could not take place, as well as [Page 121] where it might (for indeliberate actions are not capable of affectati­on) and because it would make an u­niformity in all actions of your life, which were remarkable. Which must needs make your life exempla­ry with more advantage to your self, as well as to the vulgar: to your self, because observing of Rules could not be practiced but in actions deliberate, which are but few, and must be handled more te­diously; whereas this way of se­curing acts by habits and habitually­right intentions, would at once pro­vide for all, by diminishing their number, and by directing such as would remain: to the multitude; who by this means must better be convinced of the truth and sincerity of their Pastor, when their most accurate inspection could discern no affectation, and that by all appea­rances it seemed real, not hypocriti­cal.

XXVII. For. managing your XXVII Cure it were well that you would constantly allot some time daily [Page 122] from your Studies for visiting them, when you shall think them best at leasure. And because the parti­cular persons may be more than you may be able to deal with in an ordi­nary way, therefore for their ordina­ry Cure you should first win Pa­rents and Masters of Families to a sense of Piety, which being once performed, you may then easily in­duce them to a care of the Souls of theirThis was required from all Ecclesiastical persons: Item, That every Ho­ly-day throughout the year, when they have no Sermon, they shall immediately after the Gos­pel, openly and plainly recite to their Parishioners in the Pulpit, the Pater Noster, the Credo, and the Ten Commandments in English, to the intent that the People may learn the same by heart, Ex­horting all Parents and Housholders to teach their Children and Servants the same as they are bound by the Law of God, and in Conscience to do. Injunct▪ by K. Edward vi. in the Collect. aforesaid p. 23. In­junct. by Q. Elizabeth A. 1559. p. 69 ib. Item, whether they have charged Fathers and Mothers, Masters and Governours of Youth, to bring them [...] in some virtuous study or▪ occupation. Arti [...]l. of Visitation by Archb, Cranin, under Eow. vi. p. 26. Children and Servants, by shewing them how their Religion would conduce to their ver­ry [Page 123] secular interest (that hereby their Servants would prove more faith­ful, and their Children more obedi­ent and comfortable to them) that therefore they should keep up their Family Duties constantly: their Mor­ning and Evening Prayers; that oc­casionally they would instill an in­struction in their duties, by having some good book read to them all, especially the Whole duty of Man, according to the method of the Partitions therein prescribed, every Sunday one; that they would, by your advice prescribe some selectThis was en­joyned on all Teachers of Children: 41. Item, That they shall accustome their Scholars reverently to learn such sen­tences of Scrip­ture as shall be most expedient to induce them to all godliness, Injunct. by Q. Eliz 1559. p. 78. passages of Scrip­ture fitted for their practi­cal use, to be gotten by heart by them; to instruct them, as they find them capable, in the Art of Holy Medi­tation and mental Prayer; to stir them up to a frequent Communion, and to desire your Advice upon occasion of any important scruple, whether in order to the Sa­crament, or upon any other [Page 124] occasion; and to influence them all by their word, and example, and ex­hortation, and peculiar encouragement. Then endeavour what you can, to abolish the Nurseries of vice and publick Debauchery, not by im­ploring the Magistrates assistance (that becomes secular persons ra­ther than your self, and would be apt to harden the hearts of the per­sons concerned against you; when they should find your exhortations backed with no better arguments) but by perswasions; partly by dis­swading the multitude of such Cal­lings as are interessed in mens vices, (such are Taverns and Ale-houses, especially the most debauched of them) to give over that kind of Calling, and betake themselves to something more profitable for the Commonwealth, and more secure for their own Souls. Concerning this you may make use of the advice and assistance of your more able Parish­ioners, who may be best experien­ced in the commodities of the Coun­trey, and may be able to employ [Page 125] them even in raising new advantage­ous Arts of Trading, if it be neces­sary. But for those Trades that are directly unlawful, if they be not a­ble to undertake any other, it were better that they were maintained on the publick Charity than that they should be suffered to return to their former employments. You may see for this St. Cyprians Epistle ad Eu­cratium L. j. Ep. 10. So also it were well that those Taverns and Ale-houses, which might be permitted after the detraction of their super­fluous number, were confined to Inns who by their paucity might gain sufficiently and virtuously a conveni­ent maintenance. And to this pur­pose you might perswade them to keep small drink, that none may be necessitated to use their strong; and to take care of either tempting or permitting any to drink beyond their measure, as they would tender the security of their own Souls from a participation of their Sins. Then it were well, in the next place, that you frequented the Schools, if [Page 126] there be any, and according to the Authority the Law allowes the Clergie in such cases, examined the care and method of their Masters, and especially to take care of a me­thod of instilling Piety into their Children, which their Masters may practice them in;41. Item, That all Tea­chers of Chil­dren shall stir & mobe them to a love and due re­verence of Gods true Religion, now truly set forth by publick Authority. In­junct. by Queen Elizabeth 1559. p. 78. Et quoties habe­bitur sacra Con­cio, e [...]s vel emit­tent, vel dedu­cent a [...] templum, ut statim a tene­ris incipiant eru­diri ad pietatem &c. Lib. Quo­ru [...]d. Canon. An. 1571. p. 240. & Can. lxxix. An. 1603. or, if their Masters be negligent, you should allure and encourage them your self. Do not despise this mean employment; for both you will find them more ca­pable of virtue than such as are confirmed in vitious habits, by a more inflexible age, and longer custome; and by this means you may more easily secure the hopes of the next Generation, which you may live your self to see grown up accor­ding to your own desire. Then for giving them more particular prescriptions you should stir them up to a particular Confession of [Page 127] their Sins and Temptations, accor­ding as our Mother the Church of Eng­land visit. of the sick Can. cxiii. An. 1603. Church of England andIbid. & Can. xix. lxiv. Ireland approves it, but to give them no formal Abso­lution till a long experience has let you understand their stabili­ty in keeping their Resolutions, which will both keep them careful in their daily practices, when as yet they are uncertain of their condition; and will come with more comfort, either in a time of Spiritual dejection, or the hour of Death, when they shall find that you are neither precipitant nor favourable in judging concerning them; [...]esides that their pardon be­fore God in order to the Sacrament will be never the less valid because you do not assure them of it. And, in doing this it were well that, with advice of your Ordinary, you would retrive the Canon of this Church of Can. xix. Ireland for tolling your Parish Bell the Evening before the Eucharist, and waiting for such in the Church as are desirous to Confess themselves, or ask your Ghostly counsel, withall [Page 128] warning them of those crimes which you are not obliged to conceal, that they may not think themselves be­trayed under pretence of Religion. Besides, you should be ready to take all occasions of Peoples seriousness and melancholy, whether for Tempo­ral discontents, or for fear of Death, and upon such occasions to warn the Spectators to beware of deferring the care of their Souls to such exi­gencies, who will then most proba­bly be affected, and so to behave your self to the person principally concerned as that the standers by may understand the ground of his comfort to be rather his past life than any indications he can give of his present penitence. And upon occa­sion of your visitation of sick per­sons, you should remember what the Rubrick of the Office requires you to put them that are rich in mind of lay­ing up a good foundation for the time to come 1 Tim. vi. 17. 18. 19.So also the Injunct of K. Edward vi. p. 10, the Articl. of v [...]sit. by Arch [...], Cr [...]mer p. 20. In­junct. by Q. Eliz An. 1559 n [...]. p. 74 Articl. of visi­tat. An. 1559. p. 178. of shewing their gratitude to God who has [Page 129] blessed them by paying him an ac­knowledgment out of their gains; and shewing themselves not to be Proprietors but faithful Stewards, es­pecially if the Riches be justly got­ten; otherwise you must refuse their very Oblations, till they have first made satisfaction to the persons injured by them. But what is just­ly gotten, and may be lawfully ac­cepted, it were better bestowed in a considerable summe (for houses of Correction for maintaining idle Vaga­bonds, and raising them to do some­thing profitable for a livelihood; for educating and raising necessitious per­sons to an honest Calling; for helping those who are reclaimed from a scan­dalous course; for all those good uses, which in the Primitive Church were supplyed out of the common Treasures of the Church) than in transient Almes. Many other things might have been added, but that, you may Remember, I did not pro­mise you an enumeration of all par­ticulars of this kind. Onely these seem more necessary for reducing [Page 130] your People to a ruleable Temper, without which your other care will not be so significant. I hope you will excuse the freedom I have ta­ken; for my own part I thought I could not have discharged the duty of a faithful friend, if I had not done so. Otherwise I have been so far from imposing on you, that I have not advised any thing, which either is not evident, or has not its reason insinuated with it in the body of my discourse; and so may freely be judged of either by your self, or any other whom you shall make use of either for its Correction or Im­provement. Whatever the event may prove, assure your self, it was undertaken with a good intention, by

Your assured well-wisher, especially in such Christian Services, H. D.

Ad Num. XII. XIII.

BEcause I have there shewn the necessity of studying the Fathers of the first and purest Centuries, as a qualification for the susception of Orders; it has been by some friends, that perused it, conceived convenient for the Instruction of Novices, for whose use this Advice was principally calculated and designed, that I should adjoyn a Catalogue of the Christian Authors and writings, such as are ge­nuine, during that Period, till the Conversion of Constantine to Chri­stianity, together with good Editions where they might find and furnish themselves with them. I was soon satisfied of the reasonableness of this request, and have accordingly endea­voured its performance, wherein if I may seem decretory in resolving posi­tively somethings controverted among [Page 132] learned men, without producing my reasons; I desire that it may be re­membred that my design was not to prejudicate against skilful dissenters, but to advise such as were unskilful; and that even in regard of them, the reason why I do not produce my rea­sons is not that, by concealment of my evidence, I might oblige them to de­pend on my Authority, but partly to avoyd prolixity, and partly because I do not conceive such unskilful Readers competent Judges of them, and part­ly because such as are, may consult many others who have undertaken it professedly; and that, though the rea­sons be not produced, yet the degree of assent, whether certain, or doubtful, or probable, is warned, which was the most cautious way I could imagine of dealing with such persons, especially these things themselves not being deli­vered from my own private sense, but of such as have most learnedly and impartially managed this subject. I do not intend as much as to mention such Authors or writings which I con­ceive undeservedly to pretend to my [Page 133] prescribed Period (what my thoughts are concerning such may be sufficiently concluded from my not mentioning them) nor to explode such works as are falsly inscribed to the particular persons whose names they bear, if up­on other regards they may seem genuine in respect of the time intended, that is, if it be probable that their Authors who ever they were flourished within the Period intended, about the time wherein they are ranked, that so they may be presumed competent Testimo­nials of the state of the Church in those Ages, which is the end for which I produce and recommend them. Nor shall I trouble my self to recount such genuine truly-inscribed works them­selves, as either are not at all extant at present, or extant onely in Fragments quoted at the second hand from other antient Authors; for these will be in order met with in the places from whence they are respectively produced, and references to those places will ge­nerally be found in their good and ac­curate Editions. Nor lastly do I pre­tend to give an account of such Histo­ans [Page 134] as have described the Acts of the Martyrs, and are conceived ancient; for both many of them are Anony­mous, concerning whom it would be very hard to resolve on their particular Age; and it is a work particularly un­dertaken by it self by Surius, Lippo­mannus, &c. In those Authors there­fore which shall, after these deductions, remain proper for my purpose, I shall signifie the time they flourished in (which is most necessary for my pre­sent design of discovering their Testi­monial Authority) not by years, which would be obnoxious to many further disputes, but by the begin­ning, middle, or end, of their res­pective Centuries since the Incarna­tion.

A Catalogue of the writings of such Christian Authors as flourished before the Conver­sion of the Romane Empire to Christianity.

I.
  • CLemens Ro­manus.
    Cent. i. mid. and end.
    His i. Epistle to the Co­rinthians, un­doubted.
  • His 2. Ep. to the same, though question'd whe­ther his, yet certainly is of an Author very ancient; flou­rishing within the Period in­tended.
  • Edit. of a Frag­ment of the la­ter, and the former almost entire, by Pa­tricius Junius at Oxford, Anno. Dom. MDC. XXXVIII.
II.
  • [Page 136]I Gnatius.
    Cent. 1 mid. and end. Cent. 2. beg.
    His vi. Ep. of Primate Vsher's Latine, and Isa ac Vossius's Flo­rentine Greek E­ditions, viz.
  • Ad Ephesios.
  • Ad Magnesianos.
  • Ad Trallianos.
  • Ad Smyrnaeos.
  • Ad Romanos.
  • Ad Philadelphien­ses. questioned onely, I think, out of interest by the Presby­terians, because he is decretory against them.
  • His Epistle ad Polycarpum is thought by Isa­ac Vosfius in his notes, undeser­vedly questio­ned by our Pri­mate.
  • Edit. by Primate Vsher at Oxford, partly An. Do. MDCXLIV. partly MDCXLVI.
III.
  • BArnabas.
    Cent. 2 beg.
    His Epistle, if not of the Apostle, yet cer­tainly written about this time, seing it is quo­ted under his name by Cle­mens Alexan­drinus Strom. ii. p. 273. 274. 285. 290. 300. v. 417. 421. and Origen. L. 1. Cont. Cels. [Page 137] L. iii. Periarch. and others.
  • Edit. together with Ignatius's Epistles by Isa­ac Vossius A. D. MDCXLVI. or alone by Hugo Menardus. Paris. MDCXLV..
IV.
  • ESdras.
    Cent. 2. beg.
    His iv. Book Apocryphall counterfeited by some Judai­zing Christian about these times.
V.
  • HErmes Tris­megistus.
    Cent. 2. beg.
    His Poemauder thought to be a Christian­counterfeit, by Casaubon, Ex­ercit. i. in Ba­ron. num. x.
  • Edit. the best by Hannibal Rosel­lis Colon. A­grip. MDC­XXX. fol.
VI.
  • POlycarpus.
    Cent. 1. end. 2. beg. mid.
    His Epistle to the Philippi­ans, undoub­ted.
  • Edit. with Igna­tius by Primate Vsher as afore­said.
VII.
  • ECclesiae Smyr­nensis Epi­stola,
    Cent. 2. aft. mid.
    concern­ing [Page 138] the Martyr­dome of St. Po­lycarp &c. lar­ger than in Eu­sebius.
  • Edit. the same.
VIII.
  • JVstine Martyr.
    Cent, [...] mid.
    His undoub­ted works.
  • Paraeneticus.
  • Oratio adversùs Graecos.
  • Apologia I. ad Antoninum Pium &c.
  • Apologia II. ad Marcum Anto­ninum &c.
  • Dialogus cum Try­phone.
  • Epistol. ad Zenam & Serenum. His works, though doub­ted, yet most probably genu­ine.
  • De Monarchiô, not much que­stioned.
  • Epistol. ad Diog­netum, questio­ned, I think, onely by Syl­burgius.
  • Edit. Paris. MDCXV. Grae­co-Latin.
IX.
  • HErmas.
    [...]
    His Pastor in III. Books un­doubtedly an­cient, and a­bout this time, at least, as ap­pears by the an­tiquity of the Authours that quote it.
  • Edit. Bibliothec. [Page 139] Patr. Colon. A­grippin. MDC­XVIII. Tom. I. p. 27.
X.
  • PIus the I.
    Cent. 2 mid.
    His III. and IV. Epistles in the order of Blondells Editi­on not much questioned.
  • Edit. David Blon­dell. Epistol. Pontific. Genev. MDCXXVIII.
XI.
  • A Thenagoras.
    Cent. 2. aft. mid.
    His works, though menti­oned by none of the Ancients yet never que­stioned that I know of.
  • Legatio pro Chri­stianis.
  • De Resurrectione Mortuorum.
  • Edit. with St. Justine Martyr as aforesaid.
XII.
  • TAtianus.
    Cent. 2. aft mid.
    undoubt­ed▪
  • Oratio ad Graecos.
  • Edit. with S. Ju­stine Martyr, as aforesaid.
  • Diatessaron, thought to be the same with. Harmonia Evan­gelica extant under the name of Ammonius A­lexandrinus.
  • Edit. Biblioth. Patr.Edit. Co­lon. [Page 140] Agrip. Tom. III. p. 22.
XIII.
  • THeophilus Antioche­nus.
    Cent. 2. aft. mid.
  • undoubted.
  • Lib. III. ad Au­tolycum.
  • Edit. with St. Justine Martyr as aforesaid.
  • Commentaria or Allegoriae in E­vangelia, some­what doubted of by St. Hie­rome in Cant. who quotes them.
  • Edit. Biblioth. Patr. Colon. A­grip. Tom. II.
XIV.
  • I Renaeus.
    Cent. [...]. near the end.
    undoubted, Adversùs Hereses. L. V.
  • Edit. the most compleat that I have seen is that of Fevar­dentius, having (besides as much of the Original Text in Greek as could be had from the quo­tations of an­cient Authors) V. whole chapters restored at the end not extant in any former. His notes tend ra­ther general­ly to abuse the Protestants than to ex­plain the sense of his Author. It is in fol. Co­lon. [Page 141] Ag. MDXC­VI. I hope we may, ere long, expect a better Edition from Oxford.
XV.
  • ORacul.
    Cent. [...]. near the end.
    Sibyl­lin. L. VIII. A counterfeit Christian Au­thor, quoted by St. Justine Martyr and Theoph. Antio­chenus, but not reduced in­to the form wherein we have it now till about the time of the Emperor Com­modus at least.
  • Edit. Opsopoei Pa­risijs, MDCVII.
XVI.
  • TEstamenta Patriarcha­rum counter­feited by some ancient Judai­zing Christian,
    Cent. 2.
    about this time at the uttermost; for it is quoted by Origen, in Genes.
  • Edit. Biblioth. Patr. Colon. Agrip. Tom. I. p. 173.
XVII.
  • CLemens Alex andrinus.
    Cent. 2. near the end.
    undoubted.
  • Protreptic.
  • Paedagog. L. III.
  • Stromat. L. VII.
  • [Page 142] The VIII. Book as also the Greek Eclogae annexed at the end of it, thought to be­long to his Hypotyposes, the main bo­dy whereof is long since lost.
  • Edit. Parisijs MDCXL.
  • His [...]; pub­lished under the name of Grigen's XX. Homily on Je­rem. is accord­ingly extant in Mich Ghis­lerius on Je­rem. Tom. III. p. 262.
  • Comment. in I. Ep. S. Petr. in Epist. S. Judae in Ep. Cano­nicas S. Jo­h [...]nnis.
  • Are probably the same ac­counted his by Cassiodore, Div. L. by whom they are all recoun­ted excepting that of S. Jude. They seem ra­ther to have been collected out of his works, especi­ally his Hypo­typoses now lost, than drawn up in this form by St. Clement himself.
  • [Page 143] Edit. of the Comment. Bib. Patr. Tom. I. p. 1235. Ed. Secund.
XVIII.
  • REcognitio­num L. X. ad Jacob.
    Cent. 2. near the end.
    Fra­trem Domini, translated by Ruffinus, and by him dedi­cated to one Gaudentius. I do not sup­pose it to be the genuine work of Cle­mens Romanus whose name it bea [...]s; for it is certainly la­ter than Bar­desanes Syrus, a discourse of whose quoted from him by Eusebius Pr. Evang. L. VI. c. 10. is here transcribed at large; and yet considerably ancienter than Origen, Philo­cal. by whom it is attribu­ted to Clemens Romanus him­self, which is the reason why I place it about this time.
  • Edit. Colon. A­grippin. MDL­XIX. by Lam­bert Gruterus.
XIX.
  • CElsus.
    Cent. 2 near the end.
    His Alterca­tio [Page 144] Jasonis & Papisci.
  • A Preface to it is extant under the name of St. Cyprian ad Vigilium de Ju­daicâ Incredu­litate.
  • Edit. Tom. III. of S. Cypri­an's works ac­cording to Pa­melius's distin­ction. But the work is anci­enter than O­rigen, by whom it is quoted, L. IV. advers Celsum Epicuraeum.
XX.
  • TErtullianus:
    Cent. 2 near the end & 3. beg.
    undoubted.
  • De Pallio:
  • Apologeticus:
  • De Testimonio Animae.
  • Ad Scapulam.
  • De Oratione:
  • Ad Martyras:
  • De Spectaculis.
  • De Idololatriâ.
  • De Habitu Mulie­hri.
  • De cultu Faemi­narum L. II.
  • Ad Vxorem suam L. II.
  • De Coronâ Mili­tis.
  • De velandis Virgi­nibus.
  • Ad Nationes, L. II first published by Jacobus Go­thof [...]edus in 40. Genev. MDC­XXV. & there­fore not to be expected in for­mer Editions. Adversùs Judaeos.
  • [Page 145] De Praescriptio­nibus adversùs Haereticos.
  • De Baptismo.
  • Adversùs Hermo­genem.
  • Adversùs Valen­tinianos.
  • De Anima.
  • De Carne Christi.
  • De Resurrectione Carnis.
  • De Fugâ in Per­secutione.
  • De Pudreitiâ.
  • De Patientiâ.
  • Adversùs Asar [...]i­onem, L. V.
  • Carminum ad­versùs eundem, L. V.
  • Scorpiacon ad­versùs Gno­sticos.
  • Adversùs? r ax­eam.
  • De Exhortatione Cas [...]itatis.
  • De Monogamiâ.
  • De J [...]junto adver­sùs Psychicos.
  • A [...] th [...]se are in Ludovicus a Cerda's Editi­on, Paris. MDCXXIV. &c. in three volumes fol. with Notes. Or if you would have an Edition of an easier price, get that of Franeker, MDXCII. ra­ther than ma­ny others, though later.
  • Books probably his, or of some other of his Age.
  • De Poenitentiâ, Edit. as afore­said.
  • [Page 146] Genesis.
  • Sodoma.
  • Ad Senatorem conversum.
  • These three last are in verse, and are usual­ly extant both among Tertullian & St. Cy­prian's works, being ascribed to both of them.
  • Books conjectu­ [...]ed by [...] to be his, from the like­ness of their Style.
  • Ad amicum agro­ [...].
  • De [...] Circum­cisio [...]e.
  • [...]. of S. Hierome's works.
  • Edit. Basil. MDLIII. the former at pag. 36. the later at pag. 119.
XXI.
  • EPistola de Ci­bis Judaicis.
    Ce [...]. 3. beg.
  • Not Tertullian's, though ascri­bed to him, but of some Bishop, who probably flou­rished about this time. Some think of Novatian the Schismatick.
  • Edit. with Ter­tullian as a­foresaid.
XXII.
  • [...] aduer­sùs Graecos
    [...]
    [Page 147] inscripta Con­tra Platonem, De Vniversi caus [...].
  • A Fragment of it published by David Hoe­schelius in his notes upon Photius's Bib­liotheca, Ad p. 15. by him attributed to a Christian Jo­sephus, by our Primate Vsher to Caius, about Alexander the Emperour's time. Wh [...]e­ver he was that was Au­thor of it, he seems to have flourished within our Period, and to have been a Platonizing Christian.
XXIII.
  • M [...]ucius Foe­lix.
    Cent. 3. beg
  • His Octavius, un­doubtedly his since discove­red by Fr. Balduin.
  • Edit. Lugdun. Ba­tav. MDCLII. with notes.
XXIV.
  • HIppolytus [...]ishop & Martyr,
    Cent. 3. [...].
    com­monly called Portuensis, if they be the same; whether they were or no, yet they seem to have [Page 148] flourished a­bout the same time, and have the same works indis­criminately as­cribed to them Such are:
  • De Antichristo, & consummatione Mundi, though questioned by several, yet most probably genuine, seing it is mention­ed as such by St. Hierome de Script. Eccl. whose Autho­rity I conceive alone suffici­ent to coun­tervail all those suspici­ons rather than [...] against it from the matter.
  • Edit. Bibliothee. Patr. Graeco. Latin. Tom. ii. p. 342.
  • Canon Paschalis not doubted that I know of.
  • Edit. Joseph. Sca­lig. Lugd. Ba­tav. MDXCV.
  • Books probably his:
  • De Deo Trino & uno & de My­sterio Incarna­tionis, contra haeresius Noëti.
  • Edit. Gerard. Vos­sis in miscell. Sanctor. Pa­trum ad [...]in. Gregor. [...] [Page 149] & Helicem haereticos.
  • Edit. Heur. Cani­sii Tom. V. Antiq. Lect. Part. 1 p. 153.
  • Both of th [...]se, if his, are proba­ble to have been Frag­ments of his work against H [...]resyes men­tioned by the Ancients.
  • Demonstratio contra Judaeos.
  • Edit. Possevin. Apparat. verb.
  • Hippolytus.
XXV.
  • ORigenes Ada­mantius.
    Cent. 3. beg. mid,
  • His undoubted works:
  • 1. Such as are ex­tant in Greek:
  • Cont. Celsum. Lib. viii.
  • Philoca [...]a, [...] his works by St. [...] St. Gregory
  • Edit. [...] VIII.
  • Comment on St. Matth. and on St. Joh N [...]w.
  • Commentaryes on Jerem. former­ly published by the [...] of St. Cyrill. of Alexandria, restored to O­rigen, together with several parts of Philo­calia [...] [Page 150] to the Scrip­tures to which they relate, &c.
  • Edit. in 2 vol. fol. by Petr. Dan. Huetius, together with large and lear­ned Prolego­ [...]na.
  • A Fragment of his Epistle ad Julium Affri­canum concer­ning the book of Susanna.
  • Edit. by D. Hae­schelius Au­gus [...]. Vindelic MDCII. p. 86.
  • We may, I hope [...] long, ex­pect more of his Tractates in Greek in an Edition by themselves by the same Hu [...] ­tius.
  • 2. Such as are extant in La­tine, in a Tomes, accor­ding to Gene­brard's Editi­on, MDCIV.
Genuine in Tom. 1.
  • In Genes. Hom. xvii.
  • In Exod. Hom. xiii
  • In Levitic. Hom. xvi. though formerly at­tributed to S. Cyrill, yet un­doubted since their restituti­on.
  • In Josu [...] Hom. xxvi.
  • Hom. ii. in Can­tic. Cantico­rum, interpret.
  • [Page 151] S. Hieronymo.
  • In Isaiam Hom. ix.
  • In Jeremiam Hom. xiv.
  • In [...]zechielem Hom. xiv.
  • Periarch [...]u L [...]v.
Genuine in Tom. 2.
  • In Lucam Hom. xxxix.
  • In Epist. ad Ro­man. Lib. xxxvi.
  • Cont. Celsum L. viii.
  • Philocalia colle­cted, as afore­said, out of his works.
  • Epist. ad Jul. Af­frican. entire in Latine.
  • Other works probably his, and onely doubted of because of the Liberty taken by [...] in translating them, of ad­ding frequent­ly interpolati­ons of his own:
  • In Num. Hom. xxviii.
  • In Judi [...]. Hom. ix.
  • In Lib. Reg [...]or. Hom. i.
  • Hom in Ps. xxxvi xxxvii xxxviii.
  • In Cantic. Can­ticer. Hom. iv. cum [...].
  • In divers. Hom. i. iii. iv. v. vi. ix. x.
  • Note that learn­ed men do not r [...]y so confi­dently on any thing [...] [Page 152] by Ruffi­nus because of the difficulty of distinguish­ing the Origi­nal Text from his interpolati­ons.
XXVI.
  • JVlius Affrica­nus.
    Cent. 2 beg.
  • His Epistle to Ori­gen concerning the story of Su­sanna, un­doubted.
  • Edit. with Ori­gen's Answer to him, in Greek in Haes­chelius in La­tine Tom. 2 [...]. of Origen's La­tine works, as aforesaid.
  • A great part of his Chronogra­phy extant from Eusebius in Georg. Syn­cellus Edit. Pa­ris. MDCLII. from whence, not being then published, it was borrowed by Scaliger in his Edition of Eusebius's Chronicon in Greek.
XXVII.
  • GRegorius Thaumatur­gus.
    Cent. 3 mid.
  • His undoubted works.
  • Charisteria or Panegyric. ad Origen. Graeco-Latin.
  • Metaphrasis in [Page 153] Ecclesiasten, ex­tant onely in Latine.
  • Epistola Canonica in Latine one­ly in Vossius, but in Greek also in Balsa­mon, Edit. Graeco-Latin. Parisijs, MDC­XX. p. 902.
  • His Confession of Faith recited by St. Gregory Nyss [...]n in his life, as revea­led to him by St. John Bap­tist. Graeco-Lat.
  • Such as cannot be easily dis­proved:
  • De Animâ ad Ta­tianum.
  • In Annunciatio­nem B. Virgi­nis, Sermones iii.
  • Sermo in S. The­ophaniâ.
  • Edit. of them all by Gerard. Vossius Praepos. Tungrens. Mo­gunt. MDC­IV.
XXVIII.
  • AMmonius A­lexandri­nus the matter of Origen.
    Cent. 3 beg.
    undoubted.
  • Canon, or Har­monia Evange­lica mistaken by Victor Ca­puanus for Ta­tianus's Dia­tessaron.
  • Edit. under the name of Tati­anus, Bibl. [Page 154] Patr. Colon. Agrip: MDC­XVIII. Tom. ii. p. 183.
XXIX.
  • COrnelius Ro­manus,
    Cent. 3 mid.
    undoubted.
  • Two Epistles to S. Cyprian, a­mong St. Cy­prian's Epi­stles, XLVI. XLVII.
  • Ep. ad Lupicinum Edit. among Blondell's Ep: Pont. doubt­ful.
XXX.
  • CYprianus Carthag.
    Cent. 3 mid. and after.
  • His undoubted works:
  • All the Epistles, LXXXIII. ac­cording to Pa­melius's distri­bution, who has placed them accord­ing to the time wherein they were written, are certainly his, and the o­ther Author's, to whom they are inscribed.
  • De Disciplinâ & habitu Virgi­num.
  • De Lapsis.
  • De Vnitate Ec­clesiae.
  • De Oratione Do­minicâ.
  • Contra Demetria­num.
  • De vanitate I [...]lo­lorum.
  • De Mortalitate.
  • [Page 155] De bono Patien­tiae.
  • De Opere & Elee­mosynis.
  • De Zelo & Livore.
  • Books most pro­bably his, and thought cer­tainly to be so by Pameliu [...].
  • Libri III. Testi­moniorum ad Quirinum, quo­ted by St. Hi­erome.
  • De Exhortatione Martyrij.
  • De laude Martyrij ad Moysem & Maximum & catero [...] Con­fessores.
  • De Spectaculis.
  • De Disciplinâ & bono Pudicitiae.
  • Ad Novatianum haereticum, quòd L [...]psis spes ve­niae non sit de­neganda.
  • Books, if not his, yet certainly of ancient Au­thors about his time.
  • De singularitate Clericorum.
  • De Aleatoribus.
  • De moutibus Sinâ & Sion.
  • Adversùs Judaeos qui insecuti sunt Dominum no­strum.
  • Edit. S. Goulartij MDXCIII.
  • The names of Au­thors whose certainly ge­nuine works are extant a­mong St. Cy­prian's, for the direction of young Stu­dents, [Page 156] who might otherwise meet them quoted, and not know where to find them.
  • Donati Ep. I. som­what doubted of, Cleri Romani ad Clerum Cartha­giniensem, Ep. III. ad Cypri­anum Ep. XXX­XXXI.
  • Confessorum uni­versorum ad Cyprianum, de pace Lapsis dan­da. Ep. XVII.
  • Caldonij ad Cy­prianum Ep XIX. Ad Cle­rum Carthag. Ep. XXXIX.
  • Celerini ad Luci­anum Ep XXI.
  • Luciani ad Cele­rinum. Ep. XXII.
  • Moysis & Maxi­mi & caetero­rum ad Cypri­anum Rescript. Ep. XXVI▪ L▪
  • Synodi Affrican. ad Cornelium, Ep. LIV.
  • Firmilian. ad Cy­prianum Ep. LXXV.
  • Nemesiam ad Cy­prianum, Resp. Ep. [...]XX [...]III.
  • [...] ad Cy­prian. Resp. Ep▪ LXXIX.
  • Felicis & caetero­rum ad Cypria­num Resp. Ep. LXXX
  • Concilium Car­thaginiense sub Cypriano, con­cerning Rebap­tization of [Page 157] Haereticks.
XXXI.
  • Pontius Dia­conus
  • His life of St. Cy­prian,
    Cent. 3. aft. mid.
    undoub­ted.
  • Edit. with S. Cy­prians works as aforesaid.
XXXII.
  • AN Author a­bout that time against Rebaptization of Haereticks.
    Cent. 3. aft. mid.
  • Edit. among the Notes of Ri­galitus, in his Edition of St. Cyprian.
XXXIII.
  • DIonysius A­lexandri­nus.
    Cent. 3. ast. mid.
  • His undoubted works:
  • Epist. Canonica ad Basiliden.
  • Edit. with Balsa­mon on him, apud Balsa­mon. Edit. as aforesaid, p. 879.
  • Ep. adversùs Pau­lum Samosate­num, translated by urrian.
  • Edit Graeco La­tin. MDCVI [...].
  • Latin. Bibl. Patr. Colon. Agrip. Tom. iii. p. 67.
XXXIV.
  • [Page 158]MEthodius Bishop of Olympus,
    Cent. 3. ast. mid
    & afterwards of Tyre, common­ly called Pa­tarensis by the Greeks.
  • undoubted works:
  • Excerpta ex Libr. de Resurrectio­ne.
  • Ex Lib. de Creatis,
  • Ex Lib. de Sym­posijs,
  • Ex Lib. contr. Porphyrium, &c.
  • All these impro­ved above what had been extant of them formerly in E­piphanius, Pho­tius and Da­mascen.
  • Liber de Libero Arbitrio.
  • Oratio in Simeon. & Annam.
  • Oratio in Ram [...]s Palmarum, most probably his, though by some formerly ascribed to St. Chrysostome.
  • Edit Fr. Combesis cum Amphilo­chio &c. Grae­co-Lat. Paris. MDCXLIV.
XXXV.
  • DE Trinitate,
    Cent. 3. near the end.
    a work ascribed by some to Tertul­lian, by others to Novatian the haeretick; but of an Au­thor [Page 159] later than either of them being certain­ly after the rise of Sabelli­us the haere­tick whom he mentions, and yet in all pro­bability be­fore Arianism.
  • Edit. with Ter­tullian, as a­foresaid.
XXXVI.
  • ARnobius Afer.
    Cent. 3. end.
    undoubted. L. VII. contra Gentes.
  • Edit. Lugd. Ba­tavor. MDC­LI. with notes.
XXXVII.
  • LActantius Firmianus.
    Cent. 3. en [...]. 4 [...]eg.
    undoubted:
  • Divin. Instit. L. VII.
  • De Irâ Dei.
  • De Opificio Dei.
  • Epitome in Libros suos.
  • Edit. Lugdun. Ba­tavor. MDC­LXIV.
XXXVIII.
  • PEtrus Alex­andrinus.
    Cent. 3. end. 4. beg.
    undoubted:
  • Epistol. Canonica.
  • Edit. Balsamon. p. 887.
XXXIX.
  • PAmphilus Martyr.
    Cent [...] 3. end. 4. beg.
  • Apologia pro Ori­gene, I verily believe genu­ine, notwith­standing [Page 160] what St. Hierome objects a­gainst it. For Eusebius himself pre­tends the assistance of Pamphilus in his writing that Apology of his, Hist, Eccl. L. VI▪ c. 36. [...]at. [...] Graec, Edit. Christophorson and it is observed by Photius [...]od [...] XVIII. who tells us▪ That the first V Books had the assist­ance of Pamphilus, the VI nly after his Martyrdome composed by Eusebius alone; so that the contrary testi­mony of Eusebius produced by St. Hierome, that Pamphilus wrote no­thing but some few Epistles, if it were rightly quoted (for it doe,
    It may be he had it from his III Books de vita Pamphi­li, now lost.
    not appear, I think in Eusebius as extant at present) was in all likely­hood to be understood of such works as he alone was Author of, whereas in this he had the Assistance of Eusebius himself. This is the one­ly objection insisted on by St. Hie­rome. Out of St. Hierome it appears, That this was onely the first book of those V. wherein it appears from Photius, that Eusebius had the assist­ance of Pamphilus; so that it seems, that this alone was selected by Ruf­finus [Page 161] out of the whole work, be­cause this, as it should seem, was a­lone employed in vindication of the Opinions of Origen, the rest, as may be conjectured from their contents mentioned in Photius, spent in a Hi­storical Elogy, and vindication, of his life. I have the more particular­ly insisted on this, and given my rea­son why I believe it genuine, be­cause the Authority of St. Hierome has swayed the generality of the learned world in this particular.
  • Edit. usually in Origen and St. Hierom's works.
  • Note that for the understanding and judging of these Authors and their works, it would be very ex­pedient to read the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, where also ma­ny more considerable Fragments of the Authors already mentioned, and several others not mentioned, will be found, very well worthy perusal in order to the design intended.

Letter II.
A Letter of Advice for di­rection of a young Stu­dent in Divinity, especi­ally such as is Rational, related to in the former, Numb. XVII.

SIR,

1. I am sorry that your bashfulness has hitherto denyed me the more familiar oppotunities of your acquaintance during your residence among us; but am with­all glad that these present disadvan­tageous circumstances themselves of time and place have now at length, though unexpectedly, emboldened your modesty to such a welcome, and never [...]unseasonable, motion. But nei­ther the interest of friendship, nor [Page 164] my own inclination, nor the copi­ousness of the subject wherein you have employed me, nor my little leasure for things so unsignificant, will permit me to retaliate your comple­ments; and therefore, I hope, you will excuse me though I be abrupt in my addresses to the resolution of your proposal. And that I may a­voyd that generality and unpractica­bleness and obscurity to which im­methodical discourses are very ob­noxious; and may contrive my thoughts in as few words and as lit­tle time as the ordinary frequent a­vocations of my other Studies will allow me, and withall more usefully and distinctly to your purpose: I conceive it most convenient to shew 1. the design of Scholastical Divinity, and the general requisites thereunto; and thence Secondly, the more par­ticular influence of saecular learning in order to it; and Thirdly, some few books to initiate you herein, and gene­ral directions that are adviseable in your studies of them; and Lastly, the order wherein I conceive them most [Page 165] successfully intelligible; in prosecu­tion of which method you will have, not onely my counsel, but my reasons, which I most willingly sub­mit to your censure to be followed or rejected as you shall find them more or less convincing.

II. For the first, that I may pre­vent II a mistake which I believe you will be ready to take up because of the ordinary signification of the term, it will be necessary to fore­warn you, that by Scholastical Divi­nity I do not intend that onely which is rigorously so called, but more largely all, wherein there is required skill for the deduction of inferences; whether for the resolution of Con­troversies, or doubts of Conscience [...] as it comprehends that which is Textuary as well as what is purely Rational in opposition to that which is Practical and Inartificial, as Orato­ry. For concerning this later, affe­ctation being a vice most repurgnant to its end, which is serious perswa­sion; and to which Scholars are usu­ally too much addicted for this very [Page 166] reason of their too Critical obser­vations of the rules of Art; I con­ceive it most expedient that it be contrived as natural as is possible, to which it will be necessary that all things which may have an influence on your particular end be prudent­ly considered, your Subject, and your Auditory and your own Genius, and your very manner of delivery, to which every thing may so agree as if they had been your onely incen­tives, and what you said had been without any deliberation; and to this purpose though you may read ancient and late Authors that are respectively commended in their kind, I should not advise you the imitation of any particularly, but let your own disposition chuse for it self without any designed reflecti­ons. But this onely by way of di­gression, though I believe pardona­ble, because possibly pertinent to your purpose. Scholastical Divinity in the sense now explained is that which I conjecture more principally intended by you; and to which I [Page 167] shall therefore confine my future discourse. Its design therefore be­ing for the clearing of such proposi­tions as, although they be necessary for faith or practice, yet their evi­dence depends upon the explication of such terms as are not obviously intelligible by the vulgar: the most convenient way for determi­ning the requisites of this will be by shewing the nature of those prin­ciples from whence it deduceth its particular Conclusions. For what­ever is requisite for understanding the true sense of them, must also be so to the certainty of their Illations; and therefore Religion objectively taken being a Revelation of the Di­vine will as the measure of ours, where­by we may be competently informed of our duty in order to happiness▪ the difference of these principles which are per se nota in their kinds must arise from the different lights under which they are manifested, that matters concerning Religion are discovered by a supernatural Divine light as exceeding that of our natu­ral [Page 168] Reason, the onely measure of all our natural knowledg (which yet is not to be understood, as some dangerously conceive, of the light of the faculty, as if Reason were not able certainly and evidently to know the credibility, at least, of what is so propounded; nor of the light of the formal object of assent, as if that were not alwayes propor­tioned to the faculty (which if it were not, it were both impossible to be discerned, and unsafe to be assented to, seeing many things may and do very falsely pretend to such a plausible title) but rather in re­gard of the material object, which sometimes has a natural connexion with the formal, and sometimes one­ly by voluntary institution) for so, that I may clear my mind by an in­stance, when we know God from the Creatures, this whole light is natural, not onely in regard of the faculty, nor of the creatures which have a natural proportion to it, but also of the naturally-dependent connexion of the Creatures on God, [Page 169] who is known by them, but when we know the Trinity from Divine Revelation propounded by men, and attested by miracles, although both of them are natural in the two for­mer senses; yet neither this hu­mane proposition nor these attesting miracles have any natural or neces­sary connexion with the doctrine of the Trinity, which is propounded as credible by them; but with the supernatural will of the Divine Pro­ponent, upon which account also this Light in relation to this object is called supernatural. These things though possibly as yet you may not see the use of, yet hereafter you may perceive to remove the very material misunderstandings of most Schoolmen in this question, and to be very fundamental to what we shall hereafter advise consequential­ly to these principles.

III. Seing therefore that from III hence it appears in general that the light of the faculty is absolutely ne­cessary for the improving all that is objective, whether natural or su­pernatural; [Page 170] I conceive it very con­venient to exercise frequently your discursive faculty in Theses upon some difficult Question which you may meet with in your studies, and es­pecially in such as are intricate and subtle; for these will best enable you to conceive aright in others of a like nature, though of a different matter. The time for this, if you shall think fit to design a particular one, were I believe fittest in the morning, when the Spirits are more clear and subtle, and your thoughts more composed, and so every way more apt for Contemplation. In the performing hereof I would not have you insist on your Authors method. (For which purpose it were well your morning-Thesis concerned a Question you had studied the night before) but rather endeavour up­on full deliberation of what has been produced for both opinions, to deliver your own conceptions, and to exercise your own invention as much as is possible; and withall in your method, not to mind onely [Page 171] the private concernment of the diffi­culty you are then handling, but also the general of others of the same kind, so as that your experi­ence in this may capacitate you for others: as to consider the true sense of the terms, if there be any mate­rial ambiguity that is suspicious of being misunderstood by the contra­dicting parties; but not to spend time on them when they are obvi­ous and trivial, and of none or little moment for determining the princi­pal Question; and then faithfully to enquire into the true state of the Question, which you were not to think you understand, and so not to define your own thoughts concern­ing it, before you have first candid­ly examined the true sense of both Adversaries, the want of which you will find to be an original of most of those Logomachyes which are so frequent in the Schools, and I believe generally received in very many of those Controversies which divide the Communion of whole Churches; whence it proceeds that many of [Page 172] the arguments of both parties need no other solution than the clearing of their Adversaries meaning, which being once performed, they are found impertinent and unconclusive, And for the attaining of this I would not have you rely on violent Bigots, or the followers of factions, who speak onely by roat, and besides the design and reason of their Masters, and are resolved, nay and many times obliged, to defend them in whatever they say, though never so Paradox­ical, and are frequently put to their shifts to invent defensible glosses, how expresly soever the Author has explained his meaning, and where he is the least obscure, are much more favourable to what is more easily defensible; nor on the bare words of the first Authors, it being ordinary for Controvertists to over­speak themselves, and to bring in many things ex abundanti, which though they might think probably true, yet might well be spared with­out prejudice of their cause; and much less from the partial relations [Page 173] of their Adversaries: but rather from the rise and occasion of the Question, from the design and dis­position of themselves and their Adversaries, where, if on either side you will allow any thing for violence, you will have more reason to suspect it of the later Assailant than the first Proponent, who, no Adversary appearing, may reaso­nably be presumed to have delive­red his mind with less design, and more simplicity; and from the con­nexion with their other Principles. And never satisfie your self of your success in this enquiry till you have found out some great verisimilitude that might very plausibly perswade a judicious and ingenuous man to your Adversaries opinion, if swayed with his prejudices; for it is hard to be so generally uncharitable as to believe that there are not some such that maintain all much received opinions. And to this purpose I conceive it very convenient that you be conversant with other works of the Author from whom you dis­sent, [Page 174] that you may thence perceive what principles he does otherwise much rely on, and what his moral disposition is, for this may be very effectual for swaying him when the main arguments used are popular and declamatory; and of that na­ture are most of those Questions which divide great and numerous Ecclesiastical societies, as were easie to instance and evince if I were not affraid of being tedious. When you have thus gained the true sense and use of the Question, your nea­rer approaches to its resolution you may make in this order: First to consider the nature of the prejudi­ces, for though in some cases they may contribute, yet they are never to be the onely motives for deter­mining your assent; and therefore you are to see that First, they never hinder you from embracing a con­trary evidence more convincing than that on which themselves are groun­ded; nor Secondly, from impartial­ly considering the force of that which does onely pretend it, though in [Page 175] the event it do not prove so; but onely Thirdly, when upon full in­quiry you find the contrary but equally probable with what you do at present believe, there you may se­curely submit your self to Provi­dence, that has placed you in such circumstances as thus incline you ra­ther than hazard your present peace for an onely equal contentment in the contrary, so that it be done modestly, without any censorious reflections on such as dissent from you; and that you would consider what they are distinctly, and if you find your self partially affected to either of them, there to be cautious that it do not betray you to any thing un­reasonable. And in general, for the avoyding of them all, I con­ceive it very adviseable that you be not too prodigal in uttering your thoughts concerning any Theologi­cal Question of moment before a multitude with any concernedness and vehemence before you have first examined it by these forementioned Prescriptions. After this, for the [Page 176] most faithful discovery of the nature and force of the proofs, you should distinguish from their differences those things wherein both parties are agreed, and on which as on com­mon principles they ground their ar­guments. For these you will find to be of very great use for judging the particulars, unto the which, if you be satisfied with them, you may descend more closely, assuring your self that, however their opinions may, yet, it is impossible that their reasons should, be really contrary: That you may therefore find distin­ctly how far they are conclusive, and to whether opinion they are more favourable; it were well that First omitting that multitude of particu­lar ones that are produced for both, the whole force were summed up in one a priori; wherein you might at one view perceive the whole se­ries of their principles: and then that you divide them into so many Propositions, disposed in the order wherein they follow from each o­ther, which when you have done, [Page 177] you may then examine First, the absolute truth of these principles distinctly; and Secondly, their con­sequence from each other; and then Thirdly, the truth of these premises relatively: what sense is re­quisite to be true that these conse­quences may be inferred from them; and whether they be indeed true in these particular senses that are re­quisite; and by these means you will most probably find the true and faithful measure of discerning how far they are conclusive, which you may then compare with the true sense of the contrary Opinion as you have formerly explained it, and so of the contrary proofs with this, and an you find them exactly agreeing so you may determine. These rules I have the more particu­larly insisted on, because, as they are rarely taken notice of, and more rarely observed by our modern Con­trovertists, so, to me they seem the most successful for the avoyding those mistakes and fallacies which are too frequent among them; for [Page 178] by this means you will more pro­bably understand the Question, your proofs will be more directly levelled against your Adversary, and his main objections will be supposed re­solved before you are determined, and for others which stand in need of more particular answers (they being weaker) you may be less so­licitous. Nor do I think all of these necessary in all Questions to be di­stinctly considered, but principally for the most important ones of Di­vinity; and some, at least, to be ne­cessary to all of what nature soever; and that such regard be had of those which are not, that before you neg­lect them you be assured that they are indeed impertinent. And in the management of the whole, especi­ally where you do endeavour self­satisfaction, it were well you were as brief, as clear, as distinct, and as methodical, as is possible.

IV IV. Having thus shewn you the form of managing reason in general, I believe you do expect that I should descend particularly to direct your [Page 179] Studies that you may be furnished with materials. And this I shall attempt in pursuance of my former­ly designed method, in both those kinds of Principles, by which, as I said, all Theological Controversies are to be determined. For the first, those which are rational, I would commend that too much decried Stu­dy among most Protestants of School-Divinity: for considering that the very foundations and principles of all Religion are natural, that all su­pernatural Revelations are but ac­cessory complements to these, where Nature was actually debauched, or originally insufficient, but never un­dertake to give a compleat digest of them; and indeed do either not mention them at all, or where they do, yet not professedly, but upon oc­casion of others; and then it self they are rather supposed than pre­scribed, or, where prescribed, yet rather as to the circumstances of their exercise than as to their moral and universal obligation; so that here, Reason is wholy left even by [Page 180] God himself to the evidence of its own inquiry; and this not onely as to those particulars which are so plain and obvious as that they even offer themselves without inquiry, and it is impossible to be ignorant of them without a gross negligence, or a resolved obstinacy, but such wherein some great Philosophers themselves have been mistaken, as the universal Providence of God o­ver mankind, which not onely Epi­cur [...]s. but for any thing that I know, the Jewes themselves did hardly be­lieve, by whom we find God's care of the Salvation of the Gentiles ad­mired at as aAct. xi. 18. strange and in­credible thing, and a great argument of his not being anAct. x. 34. accepter of persons, as it seems they had thought before, and their most favourable sentiments concerning them seem to have been, that God had indeed ap­pointed Ra [...]. Israel de A [...]m. c. xxv. Tu [...]elary Angels for o­ther Nations, but that himself was their own President [...] that their own Souls onely were [...]: Sy­ [...]agog. Juda c. c. [...]ip. 25. immortal, and that none others had any portion in [Page 181] the World to come; that therefore their Proselytes were trulyRab. Isr. Disp. Cab. de Anim. c. 21. & ibid Jos. Voy­sin. in Not. D. Ham­mond on S. John ii [...]. 5. tran­substantiate, whence those phrases of beingJohn iii. 3. born again, andib. v. 5. 6. of the Spirit, wherein our Saviour won­ders at the ignorance ofib. v. 10, Nico­demus, as being notorious among the Rabbins; and yet the whole Old-Testament seems so particularly de­signed for their Commonwealth as that they have little occasion for mentioning God's Providence over other Nations; but especially also in secondary instances of the Law of Nature, which though it appears that they have been for time and place dispensed with, and therefore their universally-obliging reason being more circumstantial, is less easily dis­cernible; yet their severe penalties without any new positive prohibiti­on, and their having been looked on as abhominable in the very Gentiles, show that the Church reputed them unlawful for this very reason, as in the question of Polygamy, of marry­ing the Brothers relict, and of Vsury, and other instances wherein I be­lieve [Page 182] I should not be unwarrantably consident if, notwithstanding what others have endeavoured concern­ing them, I should say that they cannot be clearly disproved by any particular prohibition in the New Testament. And the general inde­finite way of propounding those which are moral and those which are not in the Old Testament, and the New one never descending to parti­culars, but onely in general teaching us that what was Typical must needs disappear at the real exhibition of what they signified, and that all ac­commodations even in what other­wise was moral, must now under larger Grace, and greater means, and clearer Revelations, in all reason be evacuated; the onely way of de­termining here any thing particu­larly must be, omitting all Testimo­nies, to examine the nature of the Precepts themselves, and thence to discern whether the reason of their obligation be Temporary or Eternal. To which I may add, that many Counsels are urged in the Scriptures, [Page 183] many things in complyance to the present circumstances, and some in­dulgences to present prejudices even in the New Testament, and this with­out particular provision for future observance, which are not any o­ther wayes distinguishable but by Reason. And of the same necessi­ty it is for all Cases of Conscience, and many other emergent difficul­ties which you will frequently en­counter in the practice of Divinity: and it were easie to shew how very useful it is for the most important controversies that divide the Com­munion of Christendome; and how its greatest Adversaries, those of Rome, do ground themselves mainly on it in their exigencies; as in the necessity of a visible Judge of Contro­versies, in their detaining the Cup from the Lait [...], which themselves cannot deny to have been granted them in the first and purest Centuries, and in the doctrine of the resolution of Faith; so in the Remonstrant and Jansenist opinions, in all with the Socinians, and most with the Secta­ries, [Page 184] which are such instances where­in our men prove it unreasonable to expect particular proof from Scrip­ture; and the same, I think, might be proved concerning most of the definitions of the Church against the enemies of the Trinity and Incarna­tion, as to particular expressions whereby she disowned their innova­tions, that they were grounded on these so Tragically declaimed-against Theological reasons, if I were not affraid of being redious. But in short, if it be considered that hither all Controversies are finally resolved, even all Authority into the reason of its credibility; that all other wayes of arguing are plausibly excepted against by some Parties; but this cannot, there being no opposing it but by it self, which is a contradicti­on; that this at length when all is done will be found most satisfactory, these will sure be sufficient prejudi­ces to invite you, till you shall find something as plausible alledged for the contrary.

V V. But in the Study of this rati­onal [Page 185] Divinity I would not perswade you to imitate the Schools themselves any farther than as they are ratio­nal; for I must confess that one fundamental defect seems to me ge­nerally ingredient in their discour­ses; that they seem rather to en­deavour the outwitting of their Ad­versaries than their own satisfaction: which may be very suspicious both from their making use of reasons which themselves confess unsuffici­ent for the conviction of Infidels, which yet they take for strong Con­solations of Believers, which might indeed be tolerable if the efficacy of such proofs depended on any proper principles which were ad­mitted by Believers and not by In­fidels, but depending on pure Philo­sophical reasons, as most of these do, which are produced by Aquinas, who speaks for them L. I. Cont. Gent. c. 9. they seem less excusable; but principally their determining the Question by, and conforming their reasons to, some Authority, and that sometimes very contemptibles as [Page 186] of some Heathen Philosophers, or late Doctors, or at the uttermost particular Fathers (for they seldome meddle with Councils) and their laying too much stress upon their ve­ry forms of speaking, though not mentioned in the Scriptures, to the very decision of Articles of Faith, as, I think, might easily be proved in the Question concerning the pro­cession of the Holy Ghost from the Son against the Greeks, nay often on their very mystical expositions, with­out the least examination of their design, or sense, or credibility. Nor is it needful to mind you how very unsufficient they had been for it though they had attempted it; partly because of their ignorance in the Greek Fathers, and so being necessitated to rely on ignorant Translations for those they had (for Greek learning was continually de­caying in the Latine Church from the time of the removal of the Empire, an early but very remarkable in­stance whereof (that I may not now particularize others) we have [Page 187] in that famous cheat put upon the whole general Council ofSt. Hiero­nym. adv. Luciferi­ferian. & alij. Ari­minum by Valens and Vrsacius and some few other Eastern Bishops of reading [...] for [...] in the de­cree of the Nicaene Council; but es­pecially after the open breach be­twixt the Romane and Constantino­politane Patriarchs, whereby intel­ligence with the Orientals was ex­ceedingly interrupted, long before the rise of the Schoolmen; but mainly because of their great un­skilfulness in Critical learning, to know their original, and their sense in other places, which yet had been necessary to their design. And therefore I should advise you to be more ingenuously rational than they are, in the proof of your Principles as well as in the inference of your Conclusions; that you do not strain your wit to make any Testimony desensible before you are otherwise convinced of its credibility, and at least let it not be as a principal mo­tive of your determination; that you never trouble your self much [Page 188] with those reasons themselves which, as they are onely propounded as probable, so they, are confessed to be unnecessary; but First, consider the nature of the Question, whether the arguments, whereon the whole stress of its assent can onely be sure­ly grounded, and which if they be weak the definition cannot be cer­tain, be Reason, or Authority; and if it be Reason grounded on Authori­ty (as most of the School-Questions are) that then you urge the Rea­son no farther than the Authority will warrant you; and remember that a less will suffice, when all the use of reason is for rendring the Conclusion it self defensible, for that proceeds on particular evidences whereby it appears to us, and there­fore does not require a real, but eve­ry-way apparent, credibility; but where the reasons grounded on these phrases and manners of expressing the Article are drawn to the direct proof of its real truth, or are taken as principles for the probation of others; it were then reasonable to [Page 189] have recourse to Lombard's Text, and to examine First, whether that doctrine be really taught by that Father, who is by him quoted for it? and Secondly, whether it be delive­red by him as his own private opi­nion, or as the sense of the Church; and whether dogmatically, or in heat of controversie? if as the sense of the Church, then Thirdly, what was the ground of it, whether the evi­dence of universal Tradition, or aequivalencies in the Scriptures; or the general sense onely of the learn­ed? and whether they took it up for the evidence of its proper rea­son, or originally from the Autho­rity of some private person, who was commended in these controver­sies, and from whom it was derived by the rest without any new exa­mination? for in some of these things you will find most of Lom­bards principles to be deficient, they being for the much greater part transcribed from St. Augustine. But it may be a more direct way for knowing the rational modes of ex­pression, [Page 190] whereon the Church grounded her arguments (in those Articles which are generally and surely believed for Revelation, and wherein ancient and universal Au­thority may be presumed more se­curely expressive of the genuine sense of Tradition than our private reasonings, as in the Trinity and In­carnation) will be by examining what principles of this kind are supposed in her discourses with the ancient Hereticks in the first general Councils, most of her definitions there being, as I formerly said, grounded on Theological reason. And therefore I would advise you in general before your particular enquiries, to satisfie your self how far your resolution is to be groun­ded on particular reason, that so, if they should fail, as they will cer­tainly in many things which yet upon other accounts are very reaso­nably credible, you may not pre­sently condemn the Conclusion as simply false because of the falshood of their improper principles. And [Page 191] what Questions are onely determi­nable by reason you have several instances in the beginning of the former Paragraph.

VI. But it remains, for the ac­complishment VI of this first part of my task, that I proceed to the se­cond sort of principles, namely such as are known by Divine Revelation. And here seeing the resolution of no Parties is against the plain words, or at least the sense, of the Scrip­tures; and it is farther agreed that the bare Grammatical signification of the words is of no other force for expressing the speakers mind than as it is ordinarily reasonable to presume that he intended this where there are not particular sus­picious of believing otherwise; therefore for the bringing these things home to the decision of our present Controversies, it will be re­quisite to enquire First, what sense of them is aequivalent with the Conclusions to be proved by them? and Secondly, what reason there is to believe that this sense was design­ed [Page 192] by the Speaker; and where this is ambiguous and both of them seem applicable without absurdity, the onely way for determining which of them was intended by him must be by examining all those things which may be supposed as notorious to that Auditory to whose understand­ings he was to accommodate him­self, and what was onely likely to prove efficacious in reference to his design. And though this later be to be performed by reason. by ex­amining their misapprehensions; and then considering what were in Pru­dence most proper for their correcti­on, and which particular sense is most rationally reducible to this de­sign; yet the former will be most satisfactorily resolved by Philologi­cal learning: by enquiring how the same Author used the same expres­sion in other clearer parallel places; how the Auditors themselves usual­ly understood it, and so to examine the Idiomes either of the place or Country from other their contem­porary writers; and if the notori­ousness [Page 193] of the Speech depended on a matter of Fact, to which it allu­ded, and of which none of them could probably be presumed igno­rant; then the most sure way both for understanding that particular phrase and all other discourses what­soever of the same subject, will be by clearing the thing it self, and poynting at those instances, in allu­sion to which those expressions might have been occasioned, which had been otherwise unintelligible. And to this end you may more easi­ly discern First, the necessity of the Tongues wherein they were original­ly written; for it is very possible, either by reason of the affinity or homonymy, or for want of answering words in the other Tongues, for Translations to be mistaken, at least, not to be so secure as to ground ar­guments, which may be very much endangered by the very uncautious­ness of the expression; and Second­ly, the Idiomes of those Tongues, which are frequently occasions of mistakes in them that rely on Trans­lations [Page 194] that render them verbatim, without considering their impor­tance in the Originals, as is usual both in the reputed LXXII and the vulgar Latine, which were generally followed by the Greek and later La­tine Fathers, and many perplexities might be instanced which are raised by them from thence, which have no difficulty in the Originals. And for this it will be convenient to be acquainted, not onely with the sa­cred Text it self (which, especially in the Old Testament, are all the re­cords remaining of the purer anci­ent Hebrew, and therefore can give little light to the [...] but also with those Tongues, which seem at first derived from it, as most of the Orientals are; but those es­pecially into which it afterwards de­generated after the ruine of their Government, by reason of their mixture with other conquering Na­tions. Such was the Chaldee, on oc­casion of the Babylonian captivity, as appears from part of Jeremy, Da­niel and Ezra, and those parts of the [Page 195] Chaldee Paraphrases which are truly inscribed to Jonathan and Onkelos; and Syriack in the time of our Sa­viour, as is observed by learned men from most of these Hebrew words mentioned in the New Testament, by mixture of the Syro-Macedones after the prevalency of the Grecian Mo­narchy; for in these it seems more probable that the words which were afterwards imposed in stead of the genuine Hebrew without any inter­ruption where the things were pra­cticed, and whilest the Notions were fresh in memory, did more exactly answer them than those that wanted these advantages; and Thirdly, the Idiomes of the Person himself, of his wit, of his Country, of his educati­on; for it is clear that the Style of the Scriptures is very different: ei­ther lofty, or low; or eloquent, or rational, in accommodation to the writers natural abilities. For thus the New Testament writers have many Hebraisms, and St. Paul some Cilicia­nisms, as you may find instanced by St. Hierome ad Algas. Q. 9. and Ori­gen [Page 196] on the Romanes. And these are of great moment both for varying the signification of the same phrases, and making them more or less-accu­rately intelligible in grounding ar­guments on them; and Fourthly, the Antiquities alluded to; and these not onely such as are directly aimed at, and with approbation, but also such as are purposely opposed; for thus Maimonides More Nebok. Part. iii. c 29. &c. conceives the rites of the Zabij very beneficial for giving light to many positive Leviti­cal precepts, which now, for want of them, seem strange and imperti­nent; and it would doubtlessly much contribute to the clear distin­ction of those which were moral or judicial, grounded on temporary or eternal reason, to have known all the Ceremonies of the Chaldaean and Phaenician Idolatry, though, I think there are no very great assistances for it in our now-extant writers; and what is related occasionally ei­ther by the credulous Greeks or an­cient Talmudists, or the later Arabi­ans, being exceedingly intermixed [Page 197] with fabulous and conjectural asser­tions, will need a very prudent and judicious sagacity to separate what is credible from what is not so. But for what may be performed from our present assistances in this subject, I shall refer you to the excellent dis­course of our famous Antiquary Mr Selden de Dijs Syris. And for the better understanding of these, and the main design of Historical or Prophetical writers, and those very considerable seeming differences e­ven in the circumstances of what is onely upon several occasions related in themselves as well as in exotick Authors, and this not onely in some frivolous instances, but in such wheron depend the greatest argu­ments for Religion; the accomplish­ment of remarkable promises and prophesies whose truth was to war­rant very considerable alterations, as in the LXX year's Captivity, and Daniel's weeks, whence is derived one of the strongest grounds of Christianity; neither of which can be determined without the auxilia­ries [Page 196] [...] [Page 197] [...] [Page 198] of the Heathens; it will be ne­cessary to study and compare their History, and Chronology, and Geogra­phical descriptions of those Coun­treys. And for the traditional do­ctrines of the Old Testament, be­cause the best means for their dis­covery seem to me to depend on sae­cular learning, I shall therefore de­fer them to their proper place. In the mean time for particular and occasional expressions of the new, it were convenient to be acquainted with the first Haeresyes, and the con­veyance of its traditional doctrines in their plain, and genuine, and un­mixed practice, which will be the best way of making them applica­ble to our present Controversies, will be most probably derivable from the Fathers of the immediate­ly succeeding Centuries; which is the design I would have you princi­pally aim at in reading them. And concerning those general Cautions to be observed in following them, I presume you have before your de­parture heard my thoughts in some [Page 199] of our Colledg-exercises; and there­fore I shall not need to be large in them, onely in general, you may ob­serve a vast difference betwixt what they deliver either as their private thoughts, or as a generally-received opinion, and what they assert as the doctrine of the Catholick Church de­livered to them from the Apostles; and here it self betwixt what they reputed such from some judicial infe­rences of their own, and what they were more competent Judges of, in that pure Historical evidence which must have been obvious to them without any, or at least any difficult,in Com­monit. Illations, and this with Vincentius Lerinensis's Rules; in all times, all places, and all Ecclesiasti­cal Societies that were founded by Apostles or Apostolical persons. For in the former I then endeavou­red to shew their fallibility from that unaccurate way of arguing which prevailed generally among them; and those unsecure principles on which they relyed, which though I then onely touched, as willing to [Page 200] consine my discourse to the time al­lotted for it; yet possibly they might be of some use in your read­ing of the Fathers, inasmuch as that to some of them I believe you will find most of those errors which in many instances, by the Confession of all, prevailed in the first three Centuries, to be easily reducible. Other Rules were advisable for the discovery of these Testimonial from Judicial traditions, but because the mentioning of my own thoughts concerning them together with my reasons, would engage me in many and great Controversies which can­not possibly be dispatched in few words, and that I have already in­sensibly exceeded my first designed brevity, I forbear.

VII VII. And now, concerning the second particular formerly propoun­ded, namely the influence of secu­lar learning in order to those men­tioned designs of the Study of Di­vinity, I shall insist on the method already observed in that. And though it were easie by an induction [Page 201] in all humane sciences whatsoever, to shew this serviceableness; yet because so large a task might possi­bly discourage you, as not being at­tainable in one life; and their use­fulness is very different in its de­grees, some being onely convenient, and some absolutely necessary; some necessary for your own satisfaction, and some for the information of o­thers; some for more rare and ca­sual, and some for your ordinary Auditories: and you will find their use in your observation of these, and may accordingly more or less engage your self in them as you shall find your self invited by your own Genius, or Curiosity; I shall therefore mainly meddle with such as are introductory and general, and are of use for the most necessa­ry ends; your own satisfaction, and that of your ordinary Auditory. And first, for that which is rational, and rigorously called School-divinity, most of the terms wherein its Questions are expressed being Phi­losophical, the use of Philosophy, es­pecially [Page 202] that of the modern Peripate­ticks, which in later Ages has so uni­versally prevailed in the Schools, is so obvious as that I cannot suspect you ignorant of it. But yet, I be­lieve you may be desirous to be in­formed of the distinction of those parts which are necessary from those which are not; that so you may know at present where to fix your thoughts more closely in subservien­cy to your future Studies. For your satisfaction herein, I thinkThis aduice was addressed to a Graduate, who was therefore to have been presumed to have read over his Course already once. This is war­ned that others to whom it does not belong, may not imprudently apply it to themselves. you may se­curely give over your read­ing it distinctly by way of Course, and apply your self more immediately to the Study of School-Divinity; for the School-men allowing themselves that liberty of largely discussing Philosophi­cal Questions on the Summes and Sentences; as you shall by this means want none of them that are necessary, so you will be disengaged from many of them that are purely heterogeneous. But because they do [Page 203] frequently use this liberty licenti­ously, therefore it will be conveni­ent to determine more distinctly what parts are necessary, and to what ends. First therefore, for that natural Divinity which is sup­posed true antecedently to Divine Revelation, and which is therefore onely intelligible by reason; it be­ing commonly reduced to two main principles: the Divine nature and existence, and the Soul's immortality; and the nature of its faculties and the manner of its operations, in ac­commodation to which all the Di­vine Precepts and Auxiliaries are designed; the former will be best advanced by Physical arguments drawn from the nature of the cae­lestial motions, and the necessity of an universal ordinator of the second causes both to their own ends, in th [...]se that are inanimate, and at least to that of the Universe, in those that are not; &c. which as they are evidently more perswasive and sen­sible, and of a more general accom­modation to ordinary capacities, and [Page 204] such as we find principally made use of by St. Paul himself, not onely in his popular discourses Rom. i. 20. but even in his disputes with the Philosophers, Act. xvii. 27. 28. and xiv. 17. so I do really conceive them more strong than those Meta­physical ones, that have been lately again urged and improved with the general applause of our late Philo­sophers, by the famous Des Cartes. And there is one Question, which as I confess exceedingly intricate, and yet omitted by most that I have seen of our late ingenious Authors that handled the argument, at least not considered with that accuracy it deserved; so I conceive it very ne­cessary for the conviction not onely of Atheists (which yet the unhap­piness of our Age has rendred not altogether unseasonable) but also of some subdivided Christians, those especially of the Romane Communi­on, and that is the distinction of true from counterfeit miracles, which will require natural Philosophy, wherein the notion of a true mira­cle, [Page 205] by the confession of all, requi­ring that it be above the power of natural Agents, for the determining of that it will be necessary to shew how far that does extend; and be­cause it is yet farther agreed, that all sensible effects of created sub­stances must depend on matter and motion; therefore this will require two things to be examined; their utmost efficacy in general; and then particularly the uttermost efficacy of those that are present at the producti­on of the supposed effect that is to be tryed; the knowledg of which I presume you are not ignorant to be the very design of natural Philoso­phy; wherein notwithstanding you are not now to be confined to the Peripatetick Principles, but may more ingenuously examine others, and accept what you your self shall conceive most satisfactory. But the investigation of the particular Di­vine Attributes will be best perfor­med by Metaphysicks, wherein all the terms requisite to this way of arguing are prosessedly handled: [Page 206] the nature of Entity and Bonity in general; the notion of those Per­fections, which are called simpliciter simplices; and the examination of what are particularly such by their compatibility with others greater than themselves, and which are not reducible to any other Sciences, from whence it has even inMe­taph I. vi. c. 1. Text. 2. Aristotle himself the name of Natu­ral Divinity. And from hence also depend all those terms whereby even supernatural Revelations are made re­concileable with natural Reason, and upon which most of those objecti­ons depend that are indeed materi­al, and necessary to be answered; for the whole force of these relyes on such Principles as are universally conclusive in all sorts of Entityes; for otherwise the confessed Analogi­cal participation of the same per­fections in God and the Creatures will be sufficient to invalidate all Inferences drawn to him from par­ticular experiments in other Crea­tures, which are the uttermost that all other Sciences are able to reach. [Page 207] And to these ends you will find the General Part very necessary; and the particular, where it goes no fur­ther than the perfect explication of their Nature, and confines it self within it own most immaterial ab­straction. And therefore you may observe this Part most taken notice of by Protestants, and you will find it most generally serviceable to the whole design of School-Divinity. But then for the other Part that con­cerns the nature of the Soul, and of its operations; the supernatural as­sistances being proportioned to them, it will be necessary to know them for the understanding this pro­portion. And because some of these assistances are extended as well to the nature of their Acts as their Morality: and the moral man­ner of the operations is most answe­rable to the nature of the Agent, and accordingly best intelligible by its relation: therefore it will be con­venient to know them, first Physical­ly, as they are handled in Aristotle's books de Animâ and there especi­ally [Page 208] the rational and intellectual de­gree, and others no otherwise than as they conduce to the better under­standing their present organical de­pendent way of operation, and that discourse de Animâ separatâ which you will find adjoyned at the end by some Authors; and then Morally, in Ethicks, from whence you are direct­ly to deduce all those obligations that are purely moral; and the ne­cessity and design of those that are positive and supernatural, and ge­nerally all those universal Rules, on which depends the prudential pra­ctice of Casuistical Divinity. For Controversie Logick I mention no­thing, because I believe there is lit­tle in it necessary to your purpose but what is borrowed from Meta­physicks, or some few things concern­ing Faith and Opinion and Demon­stration, which you will find suffici­ently to your purpose discussed on the Summes and Sentences. And as it will be thus serviceable in general to know the main design of those Sciences, and their influence in Di­vinity, [Page 209] for discerning the necessity of particular Questions, how far they are reducible to it; so in par­ticular you may consider, First, whe­ther it was first raised from any Theological occasion, accordingly to the Rules formerly prescribed; or whether it be capable of being used as a principle for the deciding any Theological Controversie? and if it be, then Secondly, whether that Theological Controversie it self be of any moment? and then Thirdly, whether that Philosophical Principle be capable of any certain resolution, and especially in that sense that is requisite for this decisi­on? But for the improvement of principles of this kind in proving the immortality of the Soul (not now to reflect upon the piously-designed attempts of several ingenious per­sons in this regard) for my part, how convincing soever they may prove in the event, I can discern no great necessity of having recourse unto them, or relying on them. For though indeed the existence of God [Page 210] cannot be proved by Revelation, it being so antecedent to it as that he that doubts of it cannot admit of Revelation to prove it by; yet is there not the same necessity here, seeing the Soul may really be im­mortal, though its immortality could not be made out from any natural appearances falling under our cog­nizance (daily experience furnishing us with instances of most certain truths which are yet uncapable of being proved from such appearan­ces) in which case we may yet be assured of it by Revelation. For our doubting concerning the proof of the Souls immortality by reason does not upon any rational pretence oblige us to question the existence of Revelations; and supposing that the real immortality of our Souls is at­tested and revealed by God, our own antecedent ignorance of it up­on natural accounts cannot ground the least suspicion of the Divine In­fallibility concerning it; nay it is from our prime a [...]tions of such a being most certain that infinite truths [Page 211] are evident to him which are not obvious to our grosser observations, and it cannot be disproved that this is one. Supposing therefore that God has revealed the immortality of our Souls; and that he is in this, as well as in other Revelations, ve­racious; and that he certainly does, though we do not, know the truth even in this particular affair; it must needs follow that we must be ob­liged to believe it upon account of such Divine Revelation, though an­tecedently we could never have known it by natural discoveries. This I have onely observed by the way, to shew the no-necessity of insist­ing on such proofs, and to let Athe­istical irreligious persons understand how little indeed Religion is con­cerned in their weakness; though, I think, I might have added that de­serting this way of proof, and insist­ing onely on Revelation in this case is not onely more secure, but in ma­ny regards more convenient and more aggreeable with the principles of Christianity, and better sitted for [Page 212] solving difficulties which are less in­telligible on other principles. But what I have to say to this purpose is both subject to be misunderstood, and too tedious for my present de­sign, and therefore I forbear.

VIII VIII. But then for that part of Divinity that is Textuary, besides the knowledg of the Tongues and Phrases, which will be gotten by reading ancient Authors in their own words upon other occasions, and for which your own experience will hereafter be your more satis­factory directory; for the under­standing of the doctrinals of the Old Testament (which you will find very necessary for the New, there be­ing nothing pretended to be revea­led in the New, but what was at least mystically presigured in the Old, and there being many doctrines at that time generally believed by the Jewish Church which were not so clearly expressed in the Old, which as they seem to be connived at by our Saviour, so they seem generally to have been received without any [Page 213] New Revelations by the Primitive Christians (and yet the way is cer­tainly as fallible in some instances as true in others, and therefore ought to be accurately distinguished) the onely way will be to examine the credibility of doctrines that pretend to be originally Jewish Tra­ditions. And for this you are not onely to trust the Rabbins, both for their notorious fabulousness, and their little Antiquity, and their plain imitations of the Graecian Philoso­phers even before our Saviour's time, upon occasion of their acquaintance with them by the Macedonian con­quests, whom yet together with Philo and Josephus. I would recom­mend to you for the Historical Rela­tion of those opinions and practices that afterwards prevailed, and are frequently alluded to in the New Testament; but that which is the main design of the primitive Christi­an Apologies, what the Graecians had either preserved entire from the division of Babel, or in after-Ages derived from the Jewes, which yet [Page 214] are both more numerous and more ancient than those that are now ex­tant of the Jewes themselves; for by this means as you shall discover much of that truth which was mysti­cally involved in the Old Testament, though otherwise certainly inten­ded, where otherwise there is no clear mention of the Immortality of the Soul, of the Resurrection of the Body, or the future Judgment, which are the very foundations, not onely of Christian, but of all rational, Re­ligion; but also the Original of many errors both among the later Jewes and Christians. For this there­fore I conceive it convenient to read the ancientest Greek Poets together with their Greek Scholiasts, and that you do not look on them barely as idle Romances, but as grave Philoso­phers and Historians; for such they were reputed not onely in their own times, but also by all their fol­lowers, as involving Divine, and Natural, and Historical notions of their Gods and Heroes under mysti­cal and Parabolical expressions. [Page 215] Thus the name was used for makers of Lawes, for Establishers of Com­monwealths, for Discipliners of youth and women, as you may see proved from the Testimonies of Homer himself and others by the excellent Heinsius in his Prolegom. ad Hesiod. Hence they were after imitated by the Oracles, and accounted Sacred, and Prophetical, and inspired with a Divine fury, as were easie to prove if I had leisure. But yet because those things are related on the faith of much later Authors, and are mingled with their own inventions, and are expressed in dark, and de­signedly-obscure, resemblances; therefore two things will be requi­site to be inquired into: First, whence they originally proceeded, whereby will appear both how far they are credible, and what was af­ter superadded by the Graecian af­fectation of vain glory; and Se­condly, what was their distinct sense. For the former, I confess the anci­ent Graecian Barbarism, their late incorporations into civil Societies, [Page 216] their then it self being divided into little Republicks, which could not chuse but continually allarm them with perpetual Factions and mutu­al jealousies of one another, and leave little time for incouragement for Studies, and their late invention of Letters, or of any means for communicating Tradition to Poste­rity, make me unwilling to advise you to trust them for any thing an­cient that is Historical. And there­fore I believe your best way were to examine with what other ancient learned Nations they had commerce, from whom they might probably derive their Philosophical or Theolo­gical learning, and particularly con­cerning such notable Persons as were acknowledged to have had some especial influence in their improvement; such were Orpheus for the old, and Pherecydes Syrius for the later Theogonyes; whether they were Indigenae or forreigners, whe­ther they travelled, and to what Na­tions? And because the ambition of the later Greeks has endeavoured [Page 217] to suppress those testimonies that might seem to make them beholding to other Nations for what they glo­ried themselves to be the first in­ventors of; either by confounding forreigners of the same name with their own, and by that means arro­gating the glory of their actions to themselves, or by deriving their O­riginal from their Gods, and those such as were Historically many or uncertain, as they do with Orpheus, when they make him the Son of Apollo and Calliope, it were well to collect out of creditable Authors what is mentioned concerning them, that so you may from other circum­stances conjecture whence they did most probably derive their learning. And there are three Nations especi­ally, who, by reason of their unde­niable Antiquity, and their esta­blished government, and their esti­mation of Learning, and their en­couragement and opportunities, and publick deputation of some orders of men for that end, might be very credible for the conveyance of the [Page 218] Traditional Divinity, and who, by reason of their familiarity with the Jewes, might easily have corrected themselves where they had been mistaken: the Chaldaeans, the Phoeni­cians and the Aegyptians; whereof the two later must needs have been known to them as anciently as their ancientest inventions: the Phoenici­ans by occasion of their notorious trafficking at Sea; and the Aegyptians, as appears both by the affinity of their Tongues and Letters, from the Graecian Apis, whether the Sicyonian or Argive, supposed after his death to have been Canonized in Aegypt, from the stories of Aegyptus and Danaus in Aegypt, of Tithonus and Memnon and Phaëthon in Aethiopia, mentioned by the most ancient Graecian Mythologists, from the testi­monies of very many of themselves, if I had leasure to produce them; and especially in that most of their Gods and rites and mysteries were thence borrowed, as is clear, besides others, from that full confession [Page 219] ofBibli­oth [...]. L. i. p. 86. Ed. Grae­co Lat. Diodorus Siculus related al­so byPraep. E [...]. L. x. c. 8. Eusebius. But that all of them were frequented by the later Philosophers is abundantly proved by the Primitive Christian Apologists. And therefore it will also concern you to be acquainted with the opi­nions of the Philosophers, those of them especially that are traditional, and who are known themselves to have travelled to these Countreys: for the later subdivisions seem gene­rally to have been built on the pri­vate wits of particular factious per­sons; concerning whom, especially the Stoicks, what my thoughts are you may easily discern from my Prolegomena to my dear Tutor's Book de Obstinatione: ‘that if their Rational discourses be conside­red as conversant about such in­stances as are uncapable of solid demonstrations from purely natu­ral principles, such as the Plato­nick notions of the Trinity, and the Hierarchyes of good or evil Daemons, and the state of the Soul after death, and the rewards and [Page 220] punishments of the other World; these will further admit of a two­fold consideration, either as to that use and Authority that may be grounded on their Reasons, and that cannot be acknowledged ve­ry considerable, both because the cases are supposed such as are un­capable of any solid proof of that kind; and the reasons they pro­duce are therefore at the best one­ly conjectural, and frequently Captious; and they are unnecessa­ry for us Christians, who have se­curer arguments from Divine Re­velation; and for affairs of this nature their Antiquity gives them no special advantage over us, and they are more clearly and closely managed by later Authors: or as to that purely Historical use which may be made of their Opinions, how weak soever their reasons are, for explaining those passages of Scripture, which are expressed in their language and allude to their sense, whether as approved or re­jected. And thus howsoever con­jectural [Page 221] the proof of such Propo­sitions might have been supposed formerly, yet it might merit a confident assent as grounded on the surer word of Prophesie; nay though they be rejected in the Scripture as false, yet so it self they may help us to understand those very Scriptures that were supposed to condemn them. For the terms being supposed Philoso­phical, the Philosophers them­selves must needs be presumed fit­test to explain their own sense of them (which is most likely to be the sense intended by the Holy Ghost) and by understanding the terms we come to understand the Propositions resulting from them, so condemned; which being ap­prehended will help us further to discover what is necessary for bringing such a discourse home to the purpose, which must needs be very advantageous for discovering the design of the Holy Ghost in it, as that is also for judging of consequential modes of expression, [Page 222] of which kind are many provisio­nal definitions of the Church, and doctrines of the Schoolmen. But then supposing the Rational Dis­courses of the Philosophers con­versant about affairs within their own reach, whereof they might be presumed competent judges, they may again be two wayes con­sidered: either as to their intrin­sick conclusiveness, or as to the actual reputation they had gained among the Jewes, and those other Nations among whom they were dispersed, for whose use the Scrip­tures were primarily designed, and to whose defects they may therefore be presumed to have been originally accommodated. In the former regard their discour­ses will have so much and no more credibility than what a particular examination of their solidity will afford to a person competent to judge of it; or than the fame of their skill and integrity in affairs of this nature, might have been conceived sufficient to perswade [Page 223] to such as were unskilful them­selves, and so exposed to a necessi­ty of relying on their bare Autho­ty. But in the later, their Autho­rity may be much greater as far as it may be thought to have been further confirmed and approved by the Holy Ghost himself. For the Holy Ghost undertaking in an extraordinary way to supply the defect of ordinary means in the discovery of such truths or fals­hoods as might prove necessary or pernicious in order to the salvation of mankind; it is to be presumed that wherein he did not offer a correction, there he presumed the use of ordinary means sufficient. And then the onely ordinary means of discovering their present duty and their future interests (es­pecially for the vulgar for whose use Revelations were principally calculated) being natural reason as managed by its ablest Professors, the Philosophers, they having no other light antecedently to Reve­lation; it will further follow, that [Page 224] nothing taught unanimously by such Philosophers, if uncorrected by the Holy Ghost, was by the Holy Ghost himself thought dan­gerous to the salvation of persons obliged, in prudence, to rely on such an Authority; nay that all things so unanimously agreed on, in matters necessary to be resolved in order to salvation, if the Holy Ghost did not undertake a new resolution, were supposed by him to have been already resolved rightly by the Philosophers them­selves, which no less than Divine approbation of such discourses must needs add more than a bare Humane Authority to them.’ This is the sum of what I have more largely discoursed and proved in the forementioned place, which you may perceive principally to concern such Philophers as are professedly moral, who as they are also generally applauded by Scholars for the generosity of their temper and principles; and their aggreeableness to Christianity; so [Page 225] they are not indeed guilty of that unpracticableness wherewith they are charged by some less considerative persons. It is true indeed that they thought the Soul alone to be the essential man, and the body the Organ and prison of it, and indeed praeterna­tural to it, upon which account they made its imprisonment here a conse­quence, if not a punishment, of its de­generacy, and its restitution to its primitive prosperity to consist in its compleat purgation from all corporeal faeculencies. But this is not so to be understood as if they had thought the soul incorporated (upon what account soever) to be as free from being affected with corporeal im­pressions, as the Musician is from those of his instrument, or the Priso­ner of the place of his Captivity; or had accordingly perswaded the Soul to her duty by a naked propo­sal of its reasonableness without any prudential praescriptions for making her capable of reason. For it is plain that they themselves conceived the Soul to be more than locally uni­ted [Page 226] to the body by virtue of the Nephesh as the Jewes; or [...] (in opposition to [...] or [...] or [...]) as the Platonists and primitive Christi­ans, and it may be St. Paul himself; or the [...] as the Chaldee Oracles, or the umbra, as Virgil, calls it; which being thought of a middle nature betwixt material and spiritual beings, and participating of the qualities of each, was thought to bind the Soul inseparably to the body, and to subject it to a sympathy in corporeal passions. Thence that forgetfulness of all its old notions, the [...] or flagging of her wings wherewith she could formerly freely mount at her pleasure, the [...], the un­reasonableness of matter, the drun­kenness with the cup of Lethe repre­sented by Cebes, which made their so frequent exhortations to be sober and vigilant, imitated also by the Apostle himself so very necessary. And in complyance hereunto it was that they held that the truth it self was undiscoverable and unintelligible by impure persons, and accordingly [Page 227] they were as solicitous in concealing the secrets of their Philosophy from the prophane vulgar as the Pagan Priests were in discovering their Idols to uninitiated persons; and as the revealers of the mysteries of the Gods were punished with death, so Hipparchus the Pythagorean had a monument erected for him by those of his own profession signifying his death in a moral sense for divulging their Acroamati [...]ks. So that, though they held not the body to be any part of the man, yet they held so near a connexion with it as was con­ceived sufficient to render it unca­pable of pure and naked reason (which would indeed have proved unpracticable to such persons) and were therefore as well obliged by their principles, as they did observe it in their practice, to accommodate their perswasions to the opportunities and abilities of the persons concern­ed, which being considered must needs make them practicable. All this might have been shewn and proved at large if it had now been [Page 228] seasonable. Nor is this practice proceeding on the principles of the Philosophers, repugnant to the for­mal and fundamentally-virtuous mo­tives from whence onely actions are denominated supernaturally-good in the sense of Christianity: such as Humility, and a sense of our own weakness, and a perpetual actual de­pendence on the Divine favour, and a pure and primary intention of his glory, and no satisfactory reflections on our own condition here; but a re­solute preparation to endure anxieties of mind, and deprivations of the Di­vine comfortable presence, and the peace of our own Conscience, and soli­citous apprehensions concerning our eternal welfare, and frequent occasions of disquietude in the rational Soul, as well as in those outward goods of the body or of Fortune. For it might have been easily shewn how that all these things as far as they are truly subservient to the designs of Christianity are admitted and ap­plauded by the Philosophers them­selves, and that which is indeed dis­approved [Page 229] by them is not approved by our Christian Revelations. That humility, and a sense of our own weakness, and a perpetual dependence on the Divine favour, must needs have been owned by the Philosophers, appears from what I have said to evince their acknowledgment of the necessity of the Divine assistance in all good performances, in my Proleg. Sect. LV. LVI. LVII. LVIII. LIX. to which I shall add nothing more at present. And if doing good actions for the glory of God, be First, to do them out of a sense of our duty of obedience to his com­mands, and a subjection to his Pro­vidence (however notified to us, whether by the light of nature and Conscience, or by positive Revelations, can make no difference, if the light of Nature and Conscience be owned for the voice of God) and Second­ly, to testifie by them our honourable sense of the wisdome and goodness of God in his Providences even where they seem to carnal sensual judg­ments most absurd and rigorous; [Page 230] and Thirdly, not onely to entertain and manifest this honourable opinion in our selves, but also to endeavour by such our Actions to propagate the like honourable opinions to others; and Fourthly, to renounce all vain glory of our own, whether as it sig­nifies a complacency in other mens o­pinions; or an ascribing to our selves those actions which had been indeed performed by the Divine assistance; if, I say, these things be meant by acting for the glory of God; then these Philosophers, how rarely soever they mention the word, most cer­tainly have owned the thing, con­cerning which alone learned and candid persons would be solicitous. And it may be they who would make more necessary would find it more difficult to prove than to assert. So also for our unsatisfiedness with our condition here; if thereby be understood a murmuring and repi­ning at the condition allotted us by Providence, however ungrateful it may seem to flesh and blood; that is so far from being commendable in the [Page 231] repute of Christianity as that it is indeed a very great Rebellion and Perverseneses against the Divine do­minion. But if by our unsatisfied­ness here that alone be meant (which onely can be meant the former sense being excluded) an opinion of the unsufficiency of sublunary fruitions for the satisfaction of our more noble and capacious Souls; the way of bringing men to such an opinion seems to be the principal; if not the adaequate, design of this moral Philo­phy I am now discoursing of. The greatest seeming Paradox is how to explain how Philosophy does dispose persons for enduring the deprivati­on of those good things of the mind which have an intrinsick moral goodness, such as anxieties of mind, a senselessness and dulness in the per­formance of duties, and the other instances already mentioned. And the difficulty here seems the more considerable because the two funda­mental principles of these persons in this affair, seem, if not utterly false, yet, very unsecure: First, that [Page 232] God never exercises good men with the loss of any thing that is really good; and that such are all, and onely, the goods of the mind, which is the onely seat of happiness. For by this means persons are taught not to ex­pect evils of this kind, which must needs both render them more secure and unprovided for their reception, and the unexpectedness of such evils would also aggravate, their vexatious­ness. And Secondly, that it is in the power of good men to avoyd even all surprisals to any thing indecent that might deservedly procure by way of punishment any intervals of Divine displeasure, wherein all their disap­pointment must tend to their further disquietment. Besides that by the former principle, God never inflicting spiritual evils on arbitrary accounts, but in case of demerit; and this de­merit, by the later, never agreeing to a good man (seeing its very sup­position does ipso facto make him cease to be such) good men will not seem obliged to expect it, and there­fore not to be provided for it. But [Page 233] notwithstanding all this, I conceive it certain First, that understanding all these things concerning him whom the Philosophers call a wiseman, and we Christians a perfect man (though they, as well as we, did question the actual existence of such a person, as I have already shewn in my afore­said Prolegom. Sect. LXII.) yet I say supposing such a person, all that they say on this subject would be true concerning him; he would ne­ver be obnoxious to disturbances of this kind, as never deserving them, and therefore would need no defensa­tive against them. But then Se­condly, for those other ordinary per­sons who do most frequently occur in ordinary practice, I do confess that to apply these principles to them would indeed be subject to the mentioned inconveniencies; but I must withall profess that I think it never was their design to make such an application; and therefore they must needs have been far from di­verting others from such expectati­ons, or from providing against them. [Page 234] For these weaker persons therefore, it is plain First, that they did ac­knowledg such not to act rationally, and therefore unlikely to be moved by rational arguments; so that their discourses on this account could not have been unpracticable as if they had onely shewn them their duty, but not considered their abilities for pra­cticing it. And Secondly, that in persons acting so irrationally, passi­ons were not so avoydable, nor their irrigularity easily separable from themselves, nor their demerit from their irregularity, nor consequently that th [...]se dissatisfactions and punish­ments necessarily-consequent to such demerit so hardly separable from such passions (such as are most of those mentioned) could be easily avoiedd. For First they acknowledged a [...] resulting necessarily from the mere mechanical impressions of ex­terior objects, in the inferior Soul; and Secondly, a Sympathetical influ­ence of the inferior on the superior Soul, upon account of the praeoccu­pation of sense and sensitive judg­ments [Page 235] and performances during the minority of reason, which, according to their principles, might by virtue of the former impression, incline the judgment it self to a [...]: or [...] to the first [...] or [...], that is, to believe the things really correspondent, to their appearances, to be such as they seem, which must needs infer a parity of resentment in the rational, which had before possessed the sensitive appetite. And thus much they do not deny concerning their wiseman himself, of the second order, such as was conceived existent in this life. But further Thirdly, in weaker inferior persons they thought this sympathy so naturally-consequent to those exterior impressions as that it could not be prevented by particular ordinary re­flections, but by long exercises, and solemnly-premeditated resolutions. So that to sensualists or weakly religious persons they both allowed reasons to expect such disturbances of mind, and the same latitude of providing against them as could have been ad­vised [Page 236] by any other prudence whatso­ever. For though indeed they might say that God would not per­mit any real evil to befall Religious persons, yet they never undertook ( [...]ay they warned the contrary) that no apparent evil should do so too; or that imperfectly virtuous persons should alwayes value things according to their real worth, and not be seduced sometimes to mistake their appearances for realities; or that doing so, they, as well as others, would not prove lyable to dissatis­factions of mind, was never inten­ded to be affirmed by them. And it might have been shewn how most of the disturbances now mentioned are imputable to the mistakes of weak understandings, and either are no realities at all, or, at least, not really such as they are conceived to be. Thus those anxieties of mind, and dulness and distraction in the per­formance of spiritual duties, which are usually represented as so dis­couraging to piously designing persons, are no more originally than a meer [Page 237] revolution of their humours and complexions, and mistakes adequate­ly occasioned by the indisposition of the recipient, not by any malignity of the things themselves. For in­deed what reason is there to con­clude their condition bad because their complexion is clouded with melancholy, a thing as little in their power, and as obnoxious to vicissi­tudes, as the vainest of those exte­rior fruitions so solemnly renounced by all pious persons? And what else but complexion can be the rea­son why they are within a while (without any accession of new guilt) disquieted with jealousies and scrupulosities concerning that which not long before in a mature process of judging they had pronounced perfectly innocent, and recover pe­riodically, when the cloud is over, without any further rational convicti­on? Yet this is that which melancholy persons miscall the fruition or de­sertion of the Divine internal visita­tions. For if it were a real consci­ousness of demerit that were the rea­son [Page 238] of such an alteration of judg­ment concerning their own conditi­on, either the demerits must be sup­posed frailties and inadvertencies, and those are known unsufficient to put us out of a state of grace; or they are great and habitual, and such can­not agree to persons supposed Pious, who onely, according to the princi­ples of these Philosophers them­selves, are entitled to solid joy and comfort. And the same untoward­ness of complexion seems to be the principal, if not the onely, cause of that unquietness of Conscience of which such persons do complain, for if the guilt were rationally grounded, they could not be the persons we are supposing them. So also for solicitousness concerning perseverance, it is certain that by the promises of Christianity, he that does improves his present grace shall not be left destitute in any future exigences, but shall either have his abilities enlarged, or his temptati­ons proportioned to his present abi­lities; which he that believes (as [Page 239] he must who professes to believe Christianity) can have no reason for solicitousness, and a solicitousness without reason can be imputed to nothing but complexion. So that the most likely means of prevailing on such persons practicable in pur­suance of their principles, are; both to perswade the persons that their present actings are unreasonable and erroneous, and to remove such pre­judices as may immediately be re­moved upon conviction, and to com­ply with such as cannot till in process of time they may be made more capable of better impressions, and in the mean time prescribing such Rules and exercises as may at once make their present condition most tolera­ble, and put them in a state of most probable proficiency for the future, The onely thing therefore that may be complained of in this moral Phi­losophy is, that it wants those advan­tageous arguments for comforting per­sons which are afforded by Christiani­ty; which will be no reason of neg­lecting, but improving, it by such [Page 240] auxiliary superadditions. And it may be that want of complyance which is complained of, may upon thorough consideration be found to be, not such as may so minister com­fort for the present as that it may withal tend to the conviction of his error, but such as might nourish and confirm it, and detain the person perpetually in so imperfect a conditi­on, an inconvenience to which No­vices in a Religious life are too fre­quently obnoxious. For certainly a state of Religion prudently managed would be obnoxious to fewer distur­bances of the rationally superior soul than now we find it, if indeed to any at all. And lastly it might have been said, according to sense of the mystical Divines as well as the Stoicks, that these visitations, which are so eagerly aimed at by beginners in devotion, are meerly indifferent, and no real rational excellencies, nei­ther as making the persons enjoying them better nor more honourable, nor as arguing them more acceptable to God, both because of the difficulty [Page 241] of distinguishing Divine consolations from Diabolical illusions, and because they dare not say that true consola­tions themselves are distributed in proportion to their personal excellen­cies, but many times greater to the weaker, who need them more for their encouragement, and lesser and fewer to more excellent persons; so that still the doctrine of these Phi­losophers may hold, that good men are not arbitrarily exercised with the loss of any thing truly excellent; Nor are the remedies of these Phi­losophers onely so stupefactive as they are by some conceived, as if they were onely addressed against the pungency, but did not eradicate the malignity of the distemper, the same way as a natural bold complexi­on, nay sometimes distemper of the brain, does free from the sense of evil at present, which notwithstand­ing on sober thoughts will prove as afflictive as ever in this life, besides the more severe consequential in­conveniences. For it was their pro­fest doctrine that virtue was the one­ly [Page 242] solid security of happiness, which must needs have obliged them not to accept of any other indolency but what must arise or be conformable thereunto, which no prudent consi­derate person will deny to be not onely a solid cure of present mala­dies, but also a secure prevention of future miscarriages. And it is really a mistake of the true sense and design of these excellent persons to think that they made their present satis­faction so adaequately the end of their Philosophical performances as that they should make no Conscience of committing those vices which were less liable to present molestati­ons, or of acquiring those virtues which were either contrary or not contributive to present happiness, and that solid purity was hardly intended by them, they being more solicitous for sensual than spiritual purity; for purity in exterior appearance, than in the intention. For it is plain that happiness was by them thought ne­cessarily consequent to virtue, and misery to vice under their very for­mal [Page 243] notions, which, whatever sensu­alists might think, could not leave them any ground of such a distincti­on of any virtues that were at pre­sent afflictive, or, vices that might ad­vance any present real satisfaction, which must have obliged them to a prosecution of all virtue, and a de­testation of all vice, without any ex­ception. And then the advantages they proposed to themselves being onely grounded on the intrinsick na­ture of the duties themselves, and not being thought the least promo­ted by other mens opinions, must needs have made such duties desira­ble independently on common fame; besides that they did expresly decry, and teach men to despise, other mens opinions, than which nothing can be thought more effectual for the era­dication of all vain glory and hypo­crisie and conceitedness, of which un­candid censurers ancient as well as modern have been so forward to con­demn them. I will not undertake to justifie their persons in these par­ticulars; but I think I may very [Page 244] justly except against this way of proceeding to censure their princi­ples from their practices, both be­cause affairs of this nature concern­ing their secret intentions are impos­sible to be known by men who can­not discern their hearts, and in such cases common humanity as well as charity obliges to believe the best; and because there were some of them so wary as that they never ap­peared guilty of the least affectation as far as humane observation could discover them, nay gave evidences of the contrary (it had been easie to have produced instances if I had not been afraid of being too tedi­ously digressive) and if the utter­most for which any shew of proof can be pretended were granted, that they had been vain glorious and been so universally; yet what is that to discredit the goodness of their principles, (for the defence of which alone I am concerned) the best professions of the World being apt in their own case to think themselves hardly and unkindly used, if their [Page 245] principles should be condemned for their unconformable practices? And I have already shewn that such pra­ctices, if they had been, must needs have been unconformable. Thus much may suffice at present for vin­dicating the rational use of these ancient Morallists. For as for that pedantick use which some less pru­dent persons seem mainly to design in reading them, that they may up­on occasion produce them as Patrons of sentences in themselves, so intrin­secally rational as that they need no Patronage, I think it needless to warn considerative persons of its insigni­ficancy, of which the generality of Scholars are by this time sufficiently convinced.

IX. But then for the discovery of IX those mystical senses which were designedly thus involved by the Poets and Philosophers, and withall for unridling their publick Idolatries, the ground of these intricacies be­ing that language of the Gods menti­oned by Homer, and instanced in many particulars by Clemens Alexan­drinus [Page 246] Strom. IV. the best means, where there be any regular ones possible; will be to examine what these were both among themselves, and other Nations from whom they received them. And these, accor­ding to the two wayes whereby the Gods were thought to have re­vealed themselves to men: either by visible representation of things whose natures had some Analogy with what they intended, or more directly and familiarly by way of voice; may seem also to have been twofold. For the former, you may, I believe, get much advantage from that o­therwise reputed late and unprofita­ble as well as superstitions, learning of the Graecian Oneirocriticks, which as they were evidently thought Di­vine, and the main instance of that sort of Revelation among all anci­ent Nations; so they had incompa­rably greater advantages for their conveyance to Posterity than any other kind of learning. And the Graecians being confessedly none of its first Authors, but the Asiatick [Page 247] Telmissij (whether those of Caria or of the city Telmissus in Lycia) as Orat. in Graec. Tatianus andStrom i. p. 224. Clemens re­late, I suppose on Greek testimonies, it seems evident that they derived it Easterly. And for the Lycian Telmissus, it being, according to Suidas, founded by Antenor's Poste­rity, it is impossible that they should be its first Inventors, seing that from Homer it appears that it was practi­ced by the Graecians themselves be­fore that; and for the other, most of those Asian colonies being ac­knowledged to have proceeded Easternly (for most, if not all the Graecian colonies, that were there, were planted there after the destru­ction of Troy) may probably give much light for discovering the se­crets of the Eastern learning, and of those Nations especially that were anciently famous for it, the Chal­daeans, and the Phaenicians, from whom in all probability they deri­ved most of their Traditions. And another advantage of this, above all other, sorts of mystical learning is, [Page 248] that, whereas the explication of o­thers was either reserved with the Priests themselves, or afterwards communicated to some few initiated persons after very severe and rigo­rous tryals of their secrecy, as you may see in Lucas Holstenius's notes upon Porphyry de vitâ Pythagorae, which it is probable very few would undergo, & might therefore be more obnoxious to corruption or forgetful­ness, which I suspect to be the true reason of those corruptions among the Graecians themselves, till they were again repaired by the Philoso­phers by a new intelligence with those Nations from whom they had originally derived them; the ordi­nary practice and profession of this made its explication also not at all subject to those inconveniences. So also you will, I believe, get much assistance from the Aegyptian Hierog­lyphicks (though that also be thought by many an unprofitable learning) for understanding the ridiculous So Cellu [...]: [...] statues of their Gods, and their sacrifices, and vivaria of sacred ani­mals, [Page 249] and their mystical caeremonies which afterwards even they them­selves that were initiated knew not, and many of the Pythagoraean Sym­bols, and the mystical Philosophy. For that this was a sacred manner of expressing themselves, besides many others,in Rom. c. II. & cont Cels L. I. Origen expresly affirms; and that Circumcision was necessary for initiating them that were desi­rous to learn it is very probable, upon which account Pythagoras may be thought to have endured that rite, according toStrom 1. p. 221. Clemens Alex­andrinus (and probably that opini­on of many mentioned byEp. 6. ad Iren. St. Ambrose, making him a natural Jew, contrary to the general consent of others who make him a Tyrrhenian, or of Asia, might hence have had its original, whereas it is evident not onely from the former testimony of Origen, but also fromA charnens. Aristopha­nes andEnter­pe [...] c. 36. 104. Herodotus, which later place is also quoted byL. I. [...]ent. Ap­pion. Josephus, nay from the very instance of Appion himself, that notorious and bitter enemy to the Jewes, who is yet re­ported [Page 250] by the same Josephus to have dyed of it, that Circumcision was afterwards derived to many other Nations, and particularly to the Aegyptians from whom Celsus thinks the Jewes to have borrowed it apud Orig. L. I.) and he could not legal­ly have retired to his Gentile course of life, if he had been Circumcised by the Jewes, it being onely admini­stred by them to their Proselytes of Justice whose recidivation was coun­ted as piacular as that of the natu­ral Jewes themselves; which by the way being appropriated in the Scrip­tures to the Jewes so as that the un­circumcised and the Gentiles are used synonymously, yet being, before the travels of the Philosophers, borrow­ed by other Nations, will give a strong suspicion of their conveying their doctrines together with their caeremony of initiation. This obser­vation may indeed confirm the vul­gar opinion concerning the Phaenici­ans, both because it hence appears that they did not use Circumcision anciently, nay seem to have abhor­red [Page 251] it, which made themselves ab­horred by the Jewes, and therefore their receiving it afterwards seems to argue them better affected to the Jewes, from whom upon that account it seems probable that they received it (besides that their good affection to the Jewes appears from the very friendly league of David and Solo­mon with Hiram, that I may not mention the marriage of Ahab with Jezabel the daughter of Ithobalus, and that uncircumcision is never, that I remember objected to them in the Scripture after the time of Saul) so that together with that it is not im­probable that they might receive other things to which they were less averse, especially if any credit may be given to the pretended Sancho [...] ­athon. But for the Aegyptians and Aethiopians, I do not think it so easi­ly proved that they received their Circumcision from the Jewes. For First, I know no ground of belie­ving it an innovation among them, the Scripture it self never upbraids them with uncircumcision. And [Page 252] Secondly, the Circumcision it self was differently practiced among them from the customes of the Jewes. It was not as with the Jewes admi­nistred the eighth day, nor as with the Arabians in imitation of Ismael, the thirteenth year, but to persons fully adult; such as was Appion when he dyed of it; nor to all persons of their nation or superstition, but one­ly to some eminently qualified per­sons that were sit to be initiated in their mysteries; not onely to men, nor indeed to any but such a [...] I have already mentioned, but also to wo­men, and that rather for a natural cause proper to the women of those Countreys, as Physicians conceive, than any matter of Religion, whate­ver is pretended at present to the contrary (for I look on the fable of Maqueda their pretended Queen of Sheba's institution of it related by Zaga Zabo in Damianus a Goes as not worthy to be taken notice of) so that at least in regard of them this argument for their deriving o­ther things from the Jewes together [Page 253] with their Circumcision will not hold. Nor do I think the customes of the modern Aethiopick Abyssens, though they may indeed argue a Judaizing disposition in their first converters to Christianity, sufficient to argue any communication of theirs with the Jewes in the time of their Paganisme, which is the onely thing I am at pre­sent discoursing of. For the other way of expressing the mind of their Gods to them articulately by voice, as some of them seem to have been seigned purposely for their obscuri­ty; so I believe you will find very many of them significant in other Tongues. And for this purpose I conceive it convenient that you were acquainted with the Theory of the ancient Magick; for, besides that the ancient Philosophers did by all means aim at the nearest and most fa­miliar conversation with their Gods, and that the name was not then, as it was after, counted infamous, and even after it was, they are strongly suspicious of their too good affecti­ons to it from the strange stories of [Page 254] Apollonius Tyaneus, Prophyry, and Jamblichus, and those [...] they s [...] much speak of; many of the primi­tive haereticks, who exactly insisted on their footsteps as their Patriarchs, as Tertullian calls them, did plainly practice it, as Simon, and Menander, and Marcus, and Basilides, and most of their names of their Aeones, and some of their sacred rites mentioned in Irenaeus, are merely Magical. And as the true Religion was by degrees perverted into Idolatry, so Magick in the bad sense seems to have been nothing but a further degeneration of ancient Idolatry. Onely the notion is creater here than among the Graecians, that they being ap­plyed onely to such whom they thought properly Gods: the several virtues of him that is supreme, or the influence of the Stars, or the president Daemons (not to the inani­mated elements of nature) or canoni­zed Heroes; most of them are exoti­cal (which is the reason of their strangeness in the Greek) nay in Oriental Tongues which have an affini­ty [Page 255] with the Ehrew, and may there­fore the more probably give light to the Idolatry of those Nations that are alluded to in the Old Testament; that these people were especially in­quisitive in all Religions, for the names of their most powerful Gods, and so sometimes of the true as well as false; for thus I am apt to suspect those imitations of the Tetragramma­ton to have been derived to the Oc­cidentals; thus the name Jovis a­mong the Romanes, which from Sui­das and Ennius and Iucius Ampelius, and most ancient Authors, appears to have been the Nominative case, whence they derived their Vejoves and Dejoves, and, which brings it yet closer to my purpose, as I remember, Varro in St. Augustine, makes him worshipped by the Jewes. So [...] and [...] and [...] which you may see instanced and excellently discoursed of by Mr. Nicholas Fuller in Miscel. Sacr. L. ii. c. 6. and iv. c. 13. 14. which Author I shall recommend to your reading on vacant occasions, and the God [...] is byBibli­othee. I. I. par [...]. 1. Diodorus [Page 256] Siculus also said to have given the Law to Moses. And that these names were divulged by the Magici­ans, besides the words of Origen [...] (produced out of a Greek M S. by the forementionedI. IV. c. 13. Mr. Fuller, though now not extant, that I know of, nor by what appears af­ter the diligent search of Petrus Ori­gen [...]an. Daniel Huetius the Author of the late collection of Origen's Greek Commentaries, nor any thing, as I remember, answering it in the Latine Translation of Russinus, who yet is not famed for rendring the Greek exactly, nor does himself pretend to it) confirming my conjecture; will be reasonable to believe: whe­ther we consider that there is no plausible Author pretended for it, none of the Philosophers; or those wicked uses it was put to in the rites of Bacchus and Apollo, or that com­mendation given it by the Devil himself in the Oracle of Apollo Cla­rius, wherein he confesses,apud Macrob. Sat. L. I. c. 18. [...] [Page 257] sure for some such mischievous pur­pose. So also the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is mentioned bycont. Cels. L. I. & L. iv. p. 183. 184. Origen as invoked by Magicians, nay and the name of Jesus himself, not onely in him,ib. I. I. but also by the Sons of Sceva in the Acts. Act. xix. 13. To which I might add that security of conveyance in them, their supersti­tion forbidding them the liberty even of a Translation, which was a great reason of their strangeness a­mong the Graecians, and yet is pro­fessedly maintained as reasonable by De Myster. Jamblichus, as great an enemy as he seems to Magick, and it seems to have been the opinion of the Stoicks defended by Origen. L. I. p. 20. And for this you may see the necessity of the Oriental Tongues, which if you cannot spare time for your self, I would advise you to be acquainted with some that is excel­lent in them, whom you may con­sult upon occasion. But that which I believe would be most serviceable for this design among the Greek Ido­latries, is the Coptite or ancient Ae­gyptiack, [Page 256] [...] [Page 257] [...] [Page 258] from whom, as I said for­merly, they borrowed very many of them, wherein though both the likeness of the Character, and the signification of many of their words, may be easily discernible; yet both in some, the Idiomes of the Tongues will make the difference more ap­parent, and where they do not, it would at least concern you to know their convenience, for the Historical enquiry, whether among the others there was any thing proportionable? And possibly you will find some as­sistance this way for the understand­ing those hard mystical words used by the Romans, mentioned byL. VII. adv. Gent. Arnobius, though seeing Tages, and the Hetrurians the reputed Indigenae, were thought to be the Inventors of most of those sacred rites wherein they were used, I conceive the right knowledge best deducible from the ancient Hetrurian tongue before it was corrupted by those numerous Greek Colonyes that overspread after­wards a great part of Italy. And for this your best conjectures will [Page 259] be drawn from those obsolete old Latine words in Ennius, Plautus, Festus, Varro &c. and other later Antiquaries and Grammarians. And in this whole way of deriving un­known words to their primitive ori­ginals, you must allow many varia­tions, either for want of answerable letters, or the ignorance of later transcribers, wherein, that you may not be irregular, it would concern you to be critically acquainted in both tongues, the borrower, and the borrowed, that by comparison of both you may conjecture what alte­rations were likely to happen. But besides this use of Oneirocriticks and Hieroglyphicks and the other Pagan mystical arts of concealment for understanding the hidden senses of their Poets and Philosophers, and their publick Idolatries; I have ob­served another use made of them by some very learned persons, for ex­plaining the Prophetick books of Scripture, which because it may seem something strange at the first sight and is not cleared particularly [...] [Page 260] those Ingenious Authors that use it, and may withall be very apposite for the use of a Scholastical Di­vine; it may be seasonable on this occasion to give some account of it▪ First, therefore I suppose that God did intend that these Prophesies which were committed to writing, and enrolled in the publick Canon of the Church, should be understood by the persons concerned in them. For otherwise it could not properly be called a Revelation, if after the disco­very things still remained as intricate as formerly, and it is not credible that God should publish Revelations onely to exercise and puzzle the in­dustry of humane enquiries, or as an evidence of his own knowledge of things exceeding ours (though indeed that it self cannot be known by us unless we be able to discern some sense which otherwise could not have been known than by such Prophesies) or to give occasion to Enthusiasts and cunningly designing persons to practice seditions and in­novations under the pretence of ful­filling [Page 261] Prophesies, without any possi­bility of rational confutation by the Orthodox, who, upon this supposal must be presumed as ignorant of them as themselves; and there is no prudent way of avoyding this use­lesness and dangerousness but by ren­dring them intelligible to the persons concerned. And Secondly, the persons concerned in these kinds of Revela­tions, cannot be the Prophets them­selves or any other private persons of the ages wherein they were delive­red, but the Church in generall also in future ages. For as Prophesie in general is a gratia gratis data, and therefore as all others of that kind given primarily and originally for the publick use of the Church, so cer­tainly such of them as were com­mitted to writing, and designedly propagated to future ages, must needs have been of a general and permanent concernment. And Thirdly, the Church concerned in those Prophe­sies, cannot onely be those Ages which were to survive their accom­plishment, but also those before; [Page 262] and therefore it cannot be sufficient to pretend, as many do, that these Prophesies shall then be understood when they are fulfilled, but it will be further requisite to assert that they may be so before. For the onely momentous reason, that must be conceived concerning these, as well as other, Revelations, must be some duty which could not other­wise have been known, which must have been something antecedent, for all consequent duties of patience and resignation are common to them with other Providences, and there­fore may be known in an ordinary way. Now for antecedent duties, such as seem to be intimated in the Prophesies themselves where any are mentioned, nothing can suffice but an antecedent information. Besides to what end can this post-nate know­ledge serve? for satisfying Christi­ans of the Divine prescience upon the accomplishment of his predictions? This is needless; for they already profess themselves to believe it. Is it therefore for the conviction of [Page 263] Infidels? But neither can this be presumed on a rational account. For how can it be known that a predicti­on was fulfilled when it is not known what was predicted? or how can it be known what was predicted when the prediction is so expressed as to be capable of many senses, and no means are acknowledged possible for distinguishing the aequivocation? Nay will not such a design of am­biguity seem to such a person suspi­cious of that stratagem of the Del­phick Oracles, to preserve the repu­tation of a Prophetick Spirit by a provision beforehand for avoyding the danger of discovery? For in­deed this kind of Prophesie will be so weak an argument for proving Divine Inspiration, as that indeed it may agree to any natural man of ordinary prudence. For in publick affairs (the subject of these Pro­phesies) which proceed more regu­larly and are less obnoxious to an in­terposition of private liberty, the multitude who are the causes of such evolutions generally following the [Page 264] complexion of their bodies, and therefore being as easily determined, and therefore, predicted from natu­ral causes as such their complexions; it will not be hard, at least, very probably, to conjecture future con­tingencies from present appearances of their natural causes. And then by foretelling them in ambiguous expres­sions he may provide that if any of those senses, of which his words are capable, come to pass, that may be taken for the sense intended, so that a mistaking in all but one would not be likely to prejudice his credit. And at length if all should fail, yet a refuge would be reserved for the superstitious reverencers of his Autho­rity, that themselves had rather failed of understanding his true sense than that had failed of truth; espe­cially if among a multitude of at­tempts, but one hit in one sense (as it is hard even in a Lottery that any should alwayes miss, much more in matters capable of prudential con­jectures) that one instance of success would upon those accounts more [Page 265] confirm his credit than a multitude of faileurs would disparage it; be­cause in point of success they would be confident of their understanding him rightly, but in miscarriages they would lay the blame, not on the prediction, but their own misunder­standings. Now seeing this way is so very easily pretended to by Cheats beyond any probable danger of dis­covery, it cannot to persons not al­ready favourably affected (who one­ly need conviction) prove any argu­ment of a Divine inspiration; and therefore will, even upon this ac­count, be perfectly useless. Suppo­sing therefore that it is necessary that these predictions be understood before, as well as after, that they are fulfilled; it will follow Fourthly, that where they were not explained by the Prophets themselves, there they were intelligible by the use of ordi­nary means, such as might, by the persons to whom the Revelations were made, be judged ordinary. For that they should be explained by new Prophets to be sent on the par­ticular [Page 266] occasion, there is no ground to believe; and if these Prophesies were so expressed as that they need­ed a new Revelation for explaining them, they must have been useless, and indeed could not have deserved the name of Revelations, they still transcending the use of humane means as much as formerly. For if they had been revealed formerly what need had there been of a new discovery? and if this need be sup­posed it must plainly argue that the former pretended Revelation was not sufficient for the information of man­kind in the use of ordinary means, and that which is not so, cannot answer the intrinsick ends of a Reve­lation. This therefore being sup­posed that old Revelations are thus intelligible without new ones, it must needs follow that their explication must be derived from the use of or­dinary means. And then for deter­mining further what these ordinary means are that might have been judged such by those to whom these Revelations were made, I consider [Page 267] Fifthly, that this whole indulgence of God in granting the Spirit of Prophesie was plainly accommoda­ted to the Heathen practice of Divi­nation. This might have been ex­emplyfied in several particulars. Thus first, the very practice of re­vealing future contingencies, especi­ally of ordinary consultations con­cerning the affairs of private and particular persons, cannot be suppo­sed grounded on reason, (otherwise it would have been of eternal use, even now under the Gospel) but a condescension to the customes and expectations of the persons to whom they were communicated; and Secondly, that an order and successi­on of Prophets was established in Analogy to the Heathen Diviners is by a very ingenious personDr. Stilling-fleet Or. Sacr. L. II. c. iv. N. 1. pro­ved from that famous passage of Deut. XVIII. 15. 18. to which pur­pose he also produces the concurrent Testimony of Origen Cont. Cels. L. I. and Thirdly, that the sense of the Platonists and other Heathens, con­cerning Divine Inspiration, its nature [Page 268] and parts and different degrees, and distinction from Enthusiasm does ve­ry much agree with the notions of the Rabbins concerning it, will ap­pear to any that considers the Testi­monies of both produced by Mr. Smith in his excellent Discourse on this subject. Hence it will follow Sixthly, that as this Divination of which they were so eager, was ori­ginally Heathenish, so they were most inclinable to make use of those means of understanding it to which they had been inured from the same principles of Heathenism, especial­ly where God had not otherwise either expresly provided for it, or expresly prohibited the means for­merly used, and those means, others failing, were most likely by them to be judged ordinary. And that Oneirocriticks were the proper means among the Heathens for explaining their Divinatio per somnium answe­ring the Jewish degree of Prophesie by Dreams; and indeed the princi­pal art of the Harioli and conjectures concerning Visions as far as they held [Page 269] Analogy with those representations which were made to other less pre­pared persons in their sleep, will not need any proof. It might have been shewn how the principal Rules of the Jewish Cabbala [...] among the Heathen was a curious mystical kind of learning contrived for main­taining a conversation with their Gods [...] wherein they were im [...]ated by the Gnosticks, so they were deri­ved from the Heathen Occult Philoso­phy. And certainly it is most likely to have been some kind of expres­sing and explaining Prophesies, and some kinds of learning subservient thereunto, which was so solemnly studied by the Jewish candidates for Prophesie in their Schools and Colled­ges, and which made it so strange that persons wanting that preparati­on, such as Saul and Amos, should be by God honoured with it; besides that we find the punctual fulfilling of several predictions of the Chal­daeans by virtue of their Oneirocri­ticks (those most eminent transacti­ons of the conquests of Cyrus and [Page 270] the death of Alexander the great were thus foretold) plainly imply­ing that God himself as he designed those Dreams to be Divinatory, so he observed the Oneirocritical rules in their signification; for it is not probable that revolutions managed by such special designs and signal interpositions of Divine Providence could have been foreknown or sig­nified by the Devil, he being fre­quently put to his solemn shifts of aequivocation for concealment of his ignorance in affairs of greater moral probability, and consequently of easier prediction. And it cannot seem more strange that God should observe the Rules of Oneirocriticks and Hieroglyphicks in his Responses when made use of with a pious de­sign by his own people, than that he should answer the Heathens themselves in their own practice. Thus he ob­served the sign proposed by the Phi­listines for discerning the true reason of their sufferings 1 Sam. vi. 2. 9. 12 and met Balaam in the use of his enchantments Numb. xxiii. 4. 16. [Page 271] and revealed our Saviours Nativity to the Magi by the means of a Star. And particularly for Oneirocriticks, their suitableness to this purpose will not be scrupled by them who admit the testimony of Trogus Pompeius [...]om­niorum primus intelli­gentia [...] condidet. Trog ap [...] Justin Hist. L. xxxvi. who ascribes the first inventi­on thereof to the Patriarch Joseph, which will be very congruous to that prevailing opinion among the Fathers and many late excellent Authors, that all Arts were derived originally from the Jewes. Be­sides Daniel who was so famous for expounding Dreams, though he was thought by the Heathens to do some things by the Inspiration of the Holy Gods Dan. v. 11. yet had Chaldaean education, Chap. i. 4. and was a great proficient in it v. 17. and was accordingly included in the decree for killing the Chaldaeans Dan. ii. 13. and was therefore after his miracu­lous interpretation of Nebuchad­nezars dream, promoted to be Ma­ster of the Magicians, Astrologers, Soothsayers and Chaldaeans. Dan. v. 11. and therefore certainly was [Page 272] thought in things not exceeding the power of the Art to have proceeded according to its prescriptions; that is, in the interpretation, though not in the discovery of the dream it self. And they as well as the Jewes be­ing concerned in the event of his prediction must also have been so in the understanding of them. So also Moses being expresly affirmed skilful in all the learning of the Aegyptians, must therefore be presu­med skilful not onely in their Hiero­glyphicks, for which they are so com­monly famed, but also in Oneirocri­ticks to which they were also ad­dicted as appears Gen. xli. 8. And methinks that challenge made in the Revelation Rev. xiii. 18. concerning the name of the beast, that here is wisedom, and that he that hath understanding should exercise himself in counting the number thereof, (as it seems plain­ly to allude to the Cabalistical way of finding out names by numbers, whereof we have among the Hea­thens a precedent inL. ii. Martianus Capella who thus sits the names of [Page 273] Mercury and Philology to shew the congruity of their Marriage besides very many more in the Gnosticks in St. Irenaeus, so) seemes to imply that it was, though hardly, in the exercise of this Art, discoverable e­ven by humane wisedome. Certainly St. Irenaeus understood him so when he attempted to unriddle him by finding out names, whose numeral letters, in the Greek tongue wherein the challenge had been made, might amount to such a number. I do not, by all that has been said, intend that all Prophesies are explicable by any Rules of Art or suitable conjectures. I know many of the Heathen Oracles themselves were not. The Oracles expounded by Themistocles, Curtius, Nebrus &c, did not depend on Art but luck▪ My meaning is onely con­cerning the Prophetick visions, and onely those of them which are left unexpounded by God himself; for that these are to be presumed suffici­ently intelligible in the use of ordi­nary means, may thence be conjectu­red, that seeing that, according to [Page 274] the Jewes, this is made the Characte­ristick distinction betwixt true Pro­phesie and Enthusiasme, that though both of them (the gradus Mosaicus of Prophesie onely being excepted, which is extraordinary) do imply a mixed influence of the Intellectual and Imaginative facultives, yet that in Enthusiasme the Imaginative were predominant, but in Prophesie the Intellectual; whence also they fur­ther inferred that though Enthusiasts might have Prophetick Instincts as little understood by themselves as others, yet true Prophets perfectly understood their own condition, and made prudential reflections, and were inquisitive after the sense, and were therefore importunate with God for a further Revelation of what they understood not, and there­fore what they did not enquire after, nor consequently was not upon such their solicitations revealed to them, was in all probability to be suppo­sed already rightly understood by them without Revelation, and there­fore in the use of ordinary means. [Page 275] Indeed it might so fall out that what was in the use of ordinary means in­telligible might yet actually not be understood, and God might for that time be pleased that it should not be so, especially where no duty antece­dent might be prejudiced by such a concealment; yet is not so late an understanding of such Prophesies grounded on their obscurity, but that of the event, which when come to pass will be found, without any new Revelation, exactly correspondent. Besides all this for the discovery of Tradition I think it would very much conduce to be conversant with the Heathen Oracles, especially theThat these also are mystically to be understood, we have the word of Origen: [...] (sayes he) [...]. cont [...]. iv. p. 189. Chaldaean and Magical; for from them you will most probably understand their sense, and from them the an­cients, Plato and Pythagoras, seem to have borrowed their opinions, and Porphyry pro­fessedly did gather from them a body of Philosophy in his [...] mentio­ned by St. Augustine and o- [Page 276] And for your more clear and satis­factory proceeding in these enqui­ries, it would, it may be, be very available to know the common opi­nions that generally prevailed in the world upon the decaying of Idola­try, when the Mysteries began to be divulged, and the Philosophers themselves to speak more plainly, and by the former Prescriptions to examine how far they were intended by the Ancients, and from History, and the manner of their expressing it, from what Nation it is probable they derived them, and what means those Nations had either for pre­serving them from the beginning, or after of learning them from the Jewes, and alwayes presume that nearer the Original you shall find them more pure from after invected superadditions. This method ma­ny may think something strange, and I do confess I dare not warrant it all upon my own experience, and therefore I have not at all been de­cretory, and have withall insinuated my reasons, and I believe no candid [Page 277] Scholars will censure them without a tryal, and if upon examination they be found unsatisfactory, I here profess my self very willing to be corrected by those that are more ex­perienced and judicious; and you shall find the main design of them to be the same with that of the learned Fathers for the first Centu­ries, onely with some additional di­rections for their further improve­ment. But I proceed.

X. The third particular then X concerned the necessary Books, and general directions for their manage­ment, in pursuance of these Studies. And here first concerning that part of Divinity which is purely rational, I do not conceive it necessary for you to trouble your self with varie­ty of Authors, but with those one­ly that are commended for their ingenious managing it, or who pro­ceed on different Principles; and for the greatest part of it you shall find it intermingled with School-Di­vinity, and therefore will not need any different Prescriptions. For [Page 278] School Divinity therefore, according to the Principles already laid down, for the Testimonial part on which it is grounded (and the same you may also understand of the Canon Law: for Burchardus, Ivo, and Gratian, are guilty too of relying on incon­siderable, and counterfeit, and cor­rupted Authorities, for the which in Gratian you may read the Emen­dations of the excellent Antonius Augustinus) I advised you after the Text of Lombard, to read the Fa­thers and Councils, for the use I told you formerly, but principally for the Historical discovery of New Testament. Tradition, especially the earliest of them; those that are counterfeit as well as what are genu­ine, if they be truly ancient. And your best order in reading them will be to begin with the Apologeticks against the Heathens; for these will advance your Humanity studies, and will shew you their design in Divini­ty; and will be best intelligible by you as least depending on Ecclesiasti­cal learning, and are most accurate­ly [Page 279] penn'd as being designed against the Graecian wisedom, and the saecu­lar Philosophy. And the names of those pieces of this kind, according to their succession as near as I can ghess (for it were convenient that you read them continually and in order, both for your own memory (for the later usually transcribe the former) and for your better com­parison of their conveniences and differences together; and possibly you may not know them) are these:

  • I St. Justine Martyr, his Paraenetick, Apologies I. and II. De Monar­chiâ Confutation of Aristotle, if his.
  • II Athenagoras, his Legatio pro Christianis, De Resurre­ctione mortu­orum, an ex­cellent ratio­nal piece.
  • Tatianus, his III Oratio ad Graecos.
  • Theophilus An­tiochenus,IV Ad Autolyc. Lib▪ III.
  • [Page 280] V Clemens Alex­andrinus, his Protreptick, The greatest part of his Stromat [...], wherein his main design seems to be to prove the principal te­nets of Chri­stianity by the Testimo­nies of Poets and Philoso­phers, though mingled with many excur­sions against the Gnosticks who seem to be the grea­test enemies of the old Philosophy. This Author I would have you read at­tentively, both because his stile is intricate, and he is full of quotations, which will otherwise be hardly re­membred, & he is one of the most learned that managed that cause.
  • Tertullian, his VI Apologetick, Ad Nationes Lib. II. Ad Scapulam, De Idolola­triâ, De Spectacu­lis.
  • Minucius Fae­lix,VII [Page 281] his Octavius.
  • VIII St. Cyprian, his De vanitate Idolorum, put of which is out of Mi­nucius Faelix, transcribed verbatim; Ad Demetri­anum; Ad Senato­rem conver­sum, either his or Tertul­lian' sin verse De vit. Laps. Carm.
  • IX Origen, his Cont. Celsum. Lib. VIII.
  • X Arnobius, his Cont. Gent. Lib. VII.
  • Lactantius, his XI Divin. Insti­tut. L. VII. besides that most of his other works tend that way.
  • Eusebius Caesa­riensis, XII his excellent Collections De Praepara­tione Evan­gelicâ, L.XV. to be read with all dili­gence. Contra Hie­roclem.
  • Athanasius M.XIII his Contr. Gent:
  • [Page 282] XIV Julius Firmi­cu [...] Maternus his De Erroribus Profanarum Religionum.
  • XV St. Gregory Nazian L. his Steliteutic. in Julian.
  • XVI St. Ambrose, Cont. Sym­mach.
  • XVII Aur. Pruden­tius, his Contra Sym­machum, and several passa­ges in his Pe­ristephan [...]n occur to this purpose.
  • XVIII St. Chrysostom, his Oratio adv: [...]nt.
  • St. Augustine XIX his De Civitate Dei L. XXII. an excellent work.
  • St. Cyrill of XX Alexandria Cont. Julian. L. X. Theodoret.
  • Therapeutic. XXI A fair Editi­on of the A­pologists has been promi­sed from Lei­den, but they have not, that I know of, performed it in any more than Minuci­us Faelix and Arnobius, & Lactantius with notes.

[Page 283] These are all that I can at present remember, together with those two Jewes, Josephus cont. Appion. and several pieces of Philo. The writers also of the saecular History of the Romanes from the time of our Savi­our, which may contribute much to the understanding them are Suetoni­us, Tacitus, and the writers of Histo­ria Augusta usually bound together, Herodian, Xiphiline, Dio Cassius, and afterwards Ammianus Marcellinus, and Zosimus. For understanding their Ecclesiastical writings, and their full design, and how far what they say is to be taken for the sense of the Church, it will concern you to know the condition of the writers: both how they were qua­lified for knowing it, and how affe­cted for following it? what violence they used in their stile, and there­fore what regular abatements were to be allowed? And really, I think, you shall find no doctrines firmly re­lyed on by them as the sense of the Church Catholick but such as were opposed by some of the then ex­tant [Page 284] Haereticks, as you may see in the account given of it, by Origen in his Praeface to his [...] and in Pamphilus his Apology for him, byAdv. Hae. LI. c. 2. St. Irenaeus, De [...]. c [...]. & ad Praxe­am c. 1. & de [...] c. 1. Tertullian & Alexander Alexandrinus in his Encyclical Epistle against Arius, before its augmenta­tion on occasion of that Haeresie, by St. Cyril of Hierusalem also and St. Epiphaniue, and Ruffinus. For this end therefore it will be requisite to read first those Ecclesiastical Histori­ans that are ancient: Eusebius with the additions of Ruffinus, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Evagrius, and the Collections of Theodorus Lector, as you shal, find them together bound in one Graeco-Latine folio, or in the Translations of Cassiodorus and Epiphanius Scholaris in the Tripartite History; but especi­ally take notice of Eusebius, both because the rest do not meddle with what he handles, but onely begin where he leaves of; and because you shall find i [...] him fragments of many ancient and excellent Fathers whose works are otherwise lost; and [Page 285] because the Ages described by him are the most considerable in this af­fair. And then Nicephorus Callistus, who though himself otherwise late, and mingled with many counter­feits, and so of no considerable Au­thority alone, yet very likely had truer Copies of the Authors follow­ed by him that are extant, and the assistance of some that are not. Then for understanding the Arian Controversies, which were the prin­cipal that employed the Fourth Cen­tury, you may read Gelasius Cyzice­nus, and Philostorgius the Arian Epi­tomized by Photius, more largely than in his Bibliotheca, and published by Gothofredus. These are the principal Historians for the first four Centuries and upwards within the time of the first general Councils, into which I would have you princi­pally to enquire, this being the ut­termost Period that is owned by the dissenting Communions of Christen­dom as the most aequal Arbitiator of their Controversies. But the sullest account of this as also of what Au­thors [Page 286] deliver concerning it, and a discussion of the Historical Contro­versies, and most of what can be de­sired in this kind you will find in the learned Cardinal Baronius. But for his mistakes, either through over­sight or prejudice (for he is extreme­ly addicted to the driving on the Papal cause) besides what Casaubon and Bishop Mountague, and others of both Parties have performed, you may read that useful and elaborate piece of the Protestant Magdebur gen­ses, though written before him, and examine both their quotations, and determine impartially as you shall judge reasonable. Next, for un­derstanding the Haeresies, besides what you must be presumed to have met with in the Historians, they that handle them professedly are:

  • St. Irenaeus, in his first book.
  • Tertullian, Contra Valentinianos, & in the Appendix to his Praescrip­tions, if it be his.
  • Epiphanius.
  • Philastrius.
  • S [...]. Augustine.
  • Theodoret. [Page 287] Leontius Byzanti­nus in his Schola. Theodorus Pres­byter de Incar­natione, and o­thers.

After this the workes of the Fa­thers themselves that are genuine, and those that are not according to theire true Antiquity; which that you may know and distinguish (be­sides those Ancients: St. Hierom, who transcribes most that he has from Eusebius, only translating him, and Gennadius &c.) I shall referr you to Erasmus and others in the Editi­ons themselves, to Possevine's Appa­ratus, Bellarmine de Scriptor. Eccles. Cocus, Rivet's Critica Sacra, and Ger­hard, which it were well that you had by you to consult upon occasion as you are reading them. And what I have here advised you for the four first, after you have observed them, you will your self be able to im­prove farther in the later Centuryes, My design at present is only an In­troduction. For the Councills (which I would advise you to read before their contemporary or later. Fathers, [Page 288] both because their Authority is greater, and will be necessary to un­derstand the allusions of particular Fathers to them in opposing the Hae­reticks condemned by them, and what Fathers are most to be relyed on in what Controversies; for that is not to be determined by their greater personal learning, but rather by their approbation in the Church as her chiefest Campions. Such were St. Athanasius against the Ari­ans, St. Cyril against the Nestorians, St. Augustine against the Pelagians &c.) you may make use of the same Praescriptions proportionably applyed, for knowing which are counterfeit, and which are genuine; which Oecumenical, and which onely Provincial: which are very funda­mental enquiries to what must be grounded on them; for which you will find an account, for the Papists, in Binius's Tomes who usually bor­rowes what he has from Baronius and Bellarmine; and for the Protestants, from the aforesaid Centurists, who through every Age bestow a Chap­ter [Page 289] on that purpose. The greater Fathers you will find by their names, but for those that are less volumi­nous, you must have recourse to the Bibliothecae: both Graeco-Latine and Latine, especially in the last Editions, though you may find some in the first that were afterwards expunged out of the later by the Popish party. For the Schoolmen, I should rather counsel you to read the prime Au­thors than the abettors of Parties, unless it be, when you have satisfied your self of their sense, for the clo­ser prosecution of their arguments; for they are indeed very much im­proved by their ingenious Commen­tators. For Aquinas, you need hardly read any thing but his Sums, which you will find to contain the Sum of his works (which mount to that voluminousness they have, very much by repetitions) as well as of Divinity, and that with this advan­tage, that these were his last and most praemeditate thoughts, seeing he dyed before he compleated them. These you may read with Cajetane. [Page 290] Then Scotus on the Sentences together with Lychetus; and for the Nomina­lists Occham and Ariminensis, if you can get them; if not, Biel, who is more easily procurable. If you would read any more of the ancient Schoolmen, let them be such as are not addicted to Factions, or those that are moderate; such are Bonaven­ture, Durand, Gerson, Almain, Aliaco and Cameracensis. For Critical learn­ing you are to take notice of the unusual or ambiguous Phrases of Au­thors, and mark them on the mar­gents of the books themselves, if they be your own, and when you shall meet with any thing parallell, compare them together, and, if they be rarely observed, note them in MSS. prepared for that purpose. For the Antiquities of the Old Testa­ment, and the Jewish Customes in the New, you may read the Talmud, the Chaldee Paraphrasts, the Old Rabbins, with Josephus and Philo. For the New Testament sects, the Pharisees, Sadduces and Essenes, besides what you will meet in the Authors alrea­dy [Page 291] prescribed and Epiphanius, who had himself been formerly a Jew, you may read the Trihaereses of Sca­liger, Serarius, and Drusius; and o­thers upon Baronius's Apparatus. But the Praxis of all matters of this nature is sufficiently contained in those late Editions of the Polyglotta and Criticks, that I need not trouble my self to give you an Inventory of any more Authors, than what you will find quoted upon several occa­sions. The knowledge of the old Aegyptian Divinity and Tongue you may have from Herodotus, Plutarch de Isid. & Ostride, and Aristotle, the Prodromus, Oedipus and Thesaurus of Athanasius Kircher; the Phaenician from Sanchoniathon in Eusebius de Praep. Evang. from those Fragments of Pherecydes Syrius in ancient Au­thors; for he is said to have bor­rowed them hence by Suidas, though possibly with alterations of his own, and the works of Porphyry who was their Countryman; the Chaldaean from their Magick Oracles bound up with a collection of all the rest of [Page 292] what nature soever, with the Greek Scholia of Psellus and Pletho by Op­sopaeus, and Jamblichus de myster. Aegyptior. & Chaldaeor. For the Lives and Histories of the ancient Poets you may satisfie your self from Gerardus Johannes Vossius de Poetis and Gregorius Giraldus in his Dialo­gues, concerning the same subject. The Lives and Opinions of the anci­ent Philosophers you may read in Diogenes Laërtius, Plutarch de Placi­tis, the Greek Lexicographers, and very many other ancient Authors, particularly in what is remaining of Porphyry's work on that Subject, his V [...]a Pythagorae and of Plotinus, and very much of that Eastern, both Babylonian and Indian learning in the expeditions of Apollonius Tyane­us written by Philostratus, and the late Mr. Stanley; especially for their Opinions you may consult the ex­cellent collection of Stobaeus. And though all the three Sects of Philo­sophers, both Jonick, Italick and Eleatick, seem originally to have been derived from the Barbarians, [Page 293] (as you may see learnedly discour­sed by Clemens Strom 1. Alexandrinus) and so would be beneficial to your design; yet I think there are hardly any professed works remaining of any of them but the Pythagoraeans and the Platonists. For the former you may read the golden verses with Hierocles, and his Symbols with Giral­dus on them, usually both bound to­gether with Hierocles's works, toge­ther with the late Collection of Py­thagoraean Authors and Fragments at Cambridg, MDCLXX. For the later, you may have Plato's works and doctrine cleared by Marsilius Ficinus, and others that have endeavoured to reconcile him to Aristotle. The mystical senses of the Poets (besides what you shall meet with common­ly in the Ancients) you have ex­plained by N [...]talis Comes, Vossius de Idololatriâ, and Giraldus de Dijs Gentium, and among the Ancients, by Phurnutus and Palaephatus pro­fessedly. Their Oracles I have al­ready mentioned. For their Onei­rocriticks, there are Artemidorus and [Page 294] Achmedes alone, and Astrampsychus at the end of the forementioned Edition of the Oracles. For their Historians and Geographers, I refer you to Bodinus his Methodus Historiae, at the end whereof he has a Cata­logue of them, and an account of the times which they lived in, but above all to their late Princes: Sca­liger and Petavius for the one, and Ortelius and Bochartus for the other. And this may serve for your initiati­on in these Studies, which is, at pre­sent, my uttermost design.

XI XI. But the way for avoyding confusion and distraction in such a variety of them, which will be­long to the Fourth particular of my propounded Method, will be to shew which of them are not neces­sary to be Studied at the same time, but in order; and for them which are so, what times distinctly are most seasonable. For the former, you may, from what has been said, per­ceive what Studies are requisite for others, and therefore necessary to be first prosecuted; and besides [Page 295] what are more necessary for your present uses, and what may as yet be more conveniently omitted: onely it were well you would en­deavour to overcome the rudiments of whatever you design as soon as you can, though they be not of present use, for you will find them more tiresome when you are older. Of these therefore it will be unne­cessary to speak any more. That therefore, in those that are at pre­sent to be followed, you may avoyd distraction, and yet loose as little time as is possible: you may distin­guish them into such as are more easily apprehended, and entertained with more present and sensible plea­sure, and so leave a more tenacious impression on the memory; and these you may apply your self to imme­diately after your recreations, and afer a little reflection, you may pro­ceed to those that are more serious, and require a greater recollection: for such I esteem History and Geo­graphy; for which I would have you begin with the Ancients in their [Page 296] own tongues, with the Annotations of noted Criticks, who both may put you in mind, and satisfie you in difficulties which you had not other­wise expected, and refer you to Parallel places in other Authors, where you may find that which probably you may sometimes be desirous of, some things discussed more largely which in your present Author are more briefly intimated, which it will be very beneficial to read immediately whilest the other things are more fresh in your me­mory; and when you are so far skilled in them, you should have your Paper Books by you, to note, and compare, and exercise your own conjectures concerning what is sin­gular, and worthy of especial observation; or such as will more exer­cise your judgment, and require a mind more composed and serious, and therefore afford less pleasure in reading, and upon that account will require more meditation: for such I intend School-Divinity, for which I think it were well you al­lotted [Page 297] your morning-Studies wholly, allowing onely some time before Dinner for Meditation; wherein al­so I would have you not onely exercise your memory in reflecting on what was produced by your Au­thor, but also your judgment, in ex­amining what means may be used for the determination of the whole Controversie. And the same way you may take at Night which is ano­ther convenient time, in preparing materials for your morning Thesis ac­cording to the Praescriptions already mentioned. The rest of the After­noon you may design for the Apolo­gies, and your other humane Studies. And I think it very commendable if you would employ the Praxis of your Grammatical Studies for the understanding of the Scriptures, and therefore that you would with them, together with your Devotions, be­gin and conclude your Morning and Evening Studies, but so as that you may afterwards draw from them some moral and practical observati­ons that may be of use for the or­dering [Page 298] or examination of your be­haviour for the whole day. And the same advantage you may get by reading the Lessons at Publick Prayers in your Greek or Hebrew Bible, and noting in the Margent with Black­lead the unusual Idioms, or obscure passage you may meet with, that so, if afterwards you remember, or find, any thing that may contribute to their explication in your other Stu­dies, you may know whither to re­fer them. And thus, I think, I have gone through all the particulars of your present proposal: both how to order your Studies to Divinity, what were most conducing to that end, and what first to be taken in hand, as briefly, as was possible, conveniently, though, I confess, very much more largely than I had originally intended, and I must ingenuously acknowledge that, as I have already professed my self willing, so I am my self suspi­cious that it will be necessary, that I be corrected in some instances, wherein I cannot pretend to any considerable experience. I believe [Page 299] you may your self easily guess what they are, for I cannot now stay to enumerate them particularly; and as I should be willing my self, so I shall advise you to consult men whom you know to be skilled in each of them severally (if you have any conveniency) before you pra­ctice them. But if in any of the rest, wherein I am able, or in any of your particular Studies, you shall meet with any important difficulties, I hope you will use the Ingenuity of a Scholar in freely communicating them to

Your very affectionate Friend and Servant, H. D.

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