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The Bristol Church of England Tract Society. Has a valuable collection, chiefly on points connected with the Established Church, and formed on evangelical principles. There are many good Biographical Tracts, as well as the following, 15. Life of Edward VI.
46. Address on Public Worship. 47. Address on Private Worship.
26. The Churchman on a Sick Bed. 30. Nowell's Shorter Catechism.
THE MINISTER'S LIBRARY.
It is an interesting and important work, with reference to extended usefulness in the church, for the Christian minister to gather round him those works which are the lights of past ages, and bring to him the knowledge and experience of the whole church. Mr. Cecil observes, · Every book really worth a minister's studying, he ought, if possible, to have in his own library.' And clergymen in the Established Church of England are under the promise, made at their ordination, to be diligent in reading the Holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same.
from want of means, from indolence, and from prejudice, neglect these studies, 1 are not
1 Massilon observes, on the difficulty of ministers obtaining books: ‘Did they love and were they desirous of books, did they feel a real want of them, they would not find it so difficult to acquire them. And besides, are so many books requisite to acquaint a clergyman with the nature of his duty? It is not the number that is wanted; those that are indispensable are reduced to a few; the previous requisites are, a love of study; a desire of becoming useful to our parish ; a conviction of the necessity of deriving from prayer that knowledge which study does not afford; of being impressed with a desire of salvation, and of applying all the means of advancing in evangelical wisdom, to inspire our flocks with a love of their duty, in order that they may the more easily be induced to practise it; in a word, it is a sincere desire to fulfil our ministry. But you might place the pastors of whom I am speaking in the midst of all the books that have been written since the promulgation of the gospel, and they would discover an aversion, rather than an anxiety, for the perusal of any of them. He farther observes :
some too unwilling to be at the expense of procuring books? Are not others without suitable directions ? If a traveller have no information, or such as will lead him astray, when he is to pass through a difficult country, it will probably greatly increase his labour in reaching the end of his journey.
An intelligent Christian minister and a learned man are two different things. To be deeply learned requires an extent of reading, a knowledge of authors, books, and opinions, almost incompatible with the discharge of the duties of the ministry, and of domestic life. Very few are called to give themselves up to learning. But knowledge and intelligence are requisite in all ministers; and here the best books, well digested, are very valuable. A minister, though he may make much use of general knowledge, cannot be deeply versed in human sciences, without neglecting his proper study-theology.
"When our study is neglected, piety declines..... so long as you do not find within yourselves a resource for indolence, the diversions of the world will, it is too probable, become essential to your happiness, you will not be able to live without them. In vain you may prescribe to yourselves fixed limits; in vain you may form resolutions of appropriating your time in part to your studies and in part to your amusements; the love of the world will increase every day, and, in proportion as it increases, the love of books will decline, and knowledge, professional knowledge, will cease to be estimable.'
The writer has given a far larger list of books than most ministers can possess, or than, if they possess, they are at all likely wholly to read, and many more than he has himself read. His reasons have been these It is very convenient to have at hand a full list of useful books, even if we have not the books themselves. Those who have collected a library know that the opportunities of meeting with books are very diversified. Many a book which a student might have obtained at an easy rate, he has passed by, because he was uncertain of its character or use; and he has not afterwards, when he wanted it, been able to obtain it, but at a greatly increased expense and trouble. The object has been to select the best or most accessible books on each subject. The motives for inserting works he has stated in the commencement of Chapter xiv. As to omissions, he would say, many are doubtless omitted from ignorance, some from inadvertence, others because he would not increase the list beyond all bounds, and others as conveying, prominently, principles which he believes to be wholly unscriptural. If the list should appear too long, let what has been remarked be remembered, that a lawyer, a physician, or a philosopher, will readily procure a large library of books respecting their particular studies, and surely the work of the ministry is not less important.
The older divinity books are much more sought after than they used to be, and are much advanced in price. The chief booksellers who sell them, are, Messrs. Howell and Co. Mr. Thorpe, Mr. William and Mr. Richard Baynes, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Boone, Mr. Bohn, Mr. Cochrane, Mr. Dowding, Mr. Darling, and several others, in London ; Mr. Strong of Bristol, and Mr. Dash, of Kettering, publish valuable catalogues. Those of Messrs. Rivington and Cochrane, and of Messrs. Ogle and Duncan, published formerly, with the more recent ones of Messrs. Howell and Co. are useful as standard books of reference.
If it should be said, as it may most justly, that for the most part the means of clergymen are very
inades quate to the purchase of many books, still this will not render a catalogue of the most instructive books useless, as such clergymen may, in
many cases, procure the loan of books which they cannot purchase. It is true, also, that several of the following works are not only very dear, but very scarce; if they be valuable, however, this only renders it more desirable that they should be brought into notice, that, if need be, they may be reprinted.
He has endeavoured to give his sentiments of books under these convictions, that opinions have an important influence on practice, that all sentiments must soon undergo another review, and that he has no shadow of wish to claim infallibility for himself. The Judge of quick and dead is indeed at the door, and it is of little moment whether the opinions are approved by men of any
denomination; the only thing of real moment is, are they according to the mind of the final Judge.
He has, in the main, adopted the arrangement of the Rev. T. H. Horne, who has prepared a methodically arranged catalogue of the library in Queen's College. This is only one of the six classes into which that library is divided. The other classes are jurisprudence, philosophy, arts and trade, history, and literature.
The use of this arrangement is to find more readily the subject we wish to consider, and the best books on that subject. It is as follows :
class or any
ARRANGEMENT OF THE MINISTER'S LIBRARY.
Section 1. Natural Religion.
I. HOLY SCRIPTURES. 1. Original Texts, Versions, and Polyglots. 2. Harmonies.
II. SACRED PHILOLOGY. 1. Introductions to the Holy Scriptures. 2. Grammars and Lexicons to the Original Languages of the Scriptures.
2. Greek, 3. Commentators, Interpreters, and Paraphrasts on the Scriptures.
1. Treatises on the Interpretation of the Scriptures.
1. On the Entire Bible.
5. Critical Observations on Biblical Subjects. 4. Concordances, Dictionaries, Common Place Books. 5. Biblical Antiquities, Chronology, and Geography.
III. ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY, RITES, AND CEREMONIES. 1. Councils of the General, Roman, and Reformed
Churches. 2. Discipline and Government of the Church. 3. Liturgies, Rites, and Ceremonies.
1. General Treatises. 2. Greek and Roman Church. 3. Reformed Churches. 4. Treatises on Prayer and Manuals of Devotion. 5. Psalms and Hymns.