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to instruct them at other times. Those of them, who chose it, were also taught French. He was more and more convinced, the longer he lived, of the great importance of a learned, as well as a pious education for the ministry: And finding that some who came under his care were not competently acquainted with classical knowledge, he formed a scheme to assist youths in their preparations for academical studies, who discovered a promising genius and a serious temper. He met with encouragement in this scheme from the countenance and contributions of many of his friends, and had some instructed under his eye; but as it only commenced about two years before his death, much progress could not be made in it.*-Systems of logic, rhetoric, geography and metaphysics were read during the first year of their course, and they were referred to particular passages in other authors upon these subjects, which illustrated the points, on which the lectures had turned.† To these were added lectures on the principles of geometry and algebra. These studies taught them to keep their attention fixed, to distinguish their ideas with accuracy and to dispose their arguments in a clear, concise and convincing manuer.— After these studies were finished, they were introduced to the knowledge of trigonometry, conic sections and celestial mechanics. A system of natural and experimental philosophy, comprehending mechanics, statics, hydrostatics, optics, pneumatics, and astronomy, was read to them; with references to the best authors on these subjects. This system was illustrated by a neat and pretty large philosophical apparatus; part of which was the gift of some of his friends, and the remainder purchased
* Dr. Doddridge was not, in every instance, so attentive to the classical preparation of the students received into his seminary as could have been wished. Sometimes he admitted serious young men, of perhaps three or four and twenty years of age, who had very little of that preparation, and who never distinguished themselves in this respect, by their subsequent improvement. He thought, however, that they might be useful in plain country congregations; which was undoubtedly the case. Several of them, though not abounding in learning, sustained the ministerial character with a decent reputation.-K.
The logic was Dr. Watts's, which was very fully pursued. On rhetoric the lectures were slender and imperfect, being only a slight enlargement of a small compendium that had been drawn up by Mr. Jennings. Geography was better tanght; but of metaphysics there was only given at this time a brief epitome, as the great objects it presents, were afterwards more amply considered.-K.
A collection of important propositions, taken chiefly from Sir Isaac Newton, and demonstrated, independent on the rest. They relate especially, though not only, to centripetal and centrifugal forces.
|| Muschenbroeck was made use of in my time as a text book, and afterwards Rowning. For the particular objects to which they relate, recourse was had to Clare on Fluids, and Keill's Astronomy.-K.
by a small contribution from each of the students at his entrance on that branch of science. Some other articles were touched upon, especially history, natural and civil, as the students proceeded in their course, in order to enlarge their understandings and give them venerable ideas of the works and providence of God. A distinct view of the anatomy of the human body was given them, as it tended to promote their veneration and love for the great architect of this amazing frame, whose.wonders of providential influence also are so apparent in its support, nourishment and motion: and all concurred to render them agreeable and useful in conversation, and to subserve their honourable appearance in the ministry.-A large system of Jewish antiquities, which their tutor had drawn up, was read to them in the latter years of their course, in order to illustrate numberless passages in the scriptures, which cannot be well understood without a knowledge of them. In this branch of science likewise, they were referred to the best writers upon the subject. Lampe's Epitome of Ecclesiastical History was the ground work of a series of lectures upon that subject; as was Buddai Compendium Historia Philosophica of lectures on the doctrines of the ancient philosophers in their various sects.
But the chief object of their attention and study, during three years of their course, was his system of divinity, in the largest extent of the word; including what is most material in pneumatology and ethics. In this Compendium were contained, in as few words as perspicuity would admit, the most material things which had occurred to the author's observation, relating to the nature and properties of the human mind, the proof of the existence and attributes of God, the nature of moral virtue, the various branches of it, the means subservient to it, and the sanctions by which its precepts, considered as God's natural law, are enforced; under which head the natural evidence of the immortality of the soul was largely examined. To this was added some survey of what is, and generally has been, the state of virtue in the world; from whence the transition was easy to the need of a revelation, the encouragement to hope for it, and the nature of the evidence, which might probably attend it. From hence the work naturally proceeded to the evidence produced in proof of that revelation, which the scriptures contain. The genuineness, credibility and inspiration of these sacred books
* Mr. Orton mentions particularly, natural and civil history; but these two objects do not fall under my recollection. At most they were scarcely enough considered to deserve a distinct specification.---K.
were then cleared up at large, and vindicated from the most considerable objections, which infidels have urged. When this foundation was laid, the chief doctrines of scripture were drawn out into a large detail; those relating to the Father, Son and Spirit, to the original and fallen state of man, to the scheme of our redemption by Christ, and the offices of the Spirit, as the great agent in the Redeemer's kingdom. The nature of the covenant of grace was particularly stated, and the several precepts and institutions of the gospel, with the views which it gives us of the concluding scenes of our world and of the eternal state beyond it. What seemed most evident on these heads was thrown into the propositions, some of which were problematical; and the chief controversies relating to each were thrown into the Scholia; and all illustrated by a very large collection of references, containing perhaps, one lecture with another, the substance of forty or fifty octavo pages, in which the sentiments and reasonings of the most considerable authors on all these heads, might be seen in their own words. It was the business of the students to read and contract these references, in the intervals between the lectures; of which, only three were given in a week, and sometimes but two. This was the author's capital work, as a tutor. He had spent much labour upon it, and was continually enriching it with his remarks on any new productions upon the several subjects handled in it. This system his pupils transcribed. It is now published; and the world will judge of its value and suitableness to answer the end proposed, and will observe how judiciously it was calculated to lead the students gradually on from the principles, to the most important and difficult parts of theological knowledge. His heart was much set upon their diligent application to the study of this system; and the rather, as he thought the study of divinity was too much neglected in many seminaries, and other branches of science of infinitely less importance in themselves, especially to persons intended for the ministry, were too closely pursued. Besides the expositions in the family, above men
* I am no stranger to the character that was given of this work in the Monthly Review. But that Account of it was drawn up in so very injudicious and uncandid a manner, and the author of that article appeared to be so utterly unacquainted with the subject he wrote upon, that no intelligent reader could be much influenced by it. The Doctor's friends therefore thought it needless to enter into a particular confutation of it, and chose to trust the work to make its way by its own merit and the character of its author.
As another edition may soon be demanded, it may not be amiss to suggest, that it would be extremely useful to enlarge the list of references, by introducing the names and productions of those writers who have treated upon the several matters
tioned, critical lectures on the New Testament were weekly delivered, which the students were permitted and encouraged to transcribe, to lead them to the better knowledge of the divine oracles. These contained his remarks on the language, meaning and design of the sacred writers, and the interpreta-. tions and criticisms of the most considerable commentators. Many of these he has inserted in the Family Expositor*.-Polite literature he by no means neglected; nor will it be despised by any but those who know not what it is: yet "he could not think it the one thing needful: he thought the sacred scriptures were the grand magazine, whence the most important, and therefore by far the greatest number of, academical lectures were to be drawn."--In the last year of the course, a set of lectures on preaching and the pastoral care was given. These contained general directions concerning the method to be taken to furnish them for the work of preaching; the character of the best practical writers and commentators upon the bible; many particular rules for the composition of sermons, their proper style, the choice and arrangement of thoughts, and the delivery of them; directions relating to public prayer, exposition, catechising, the administration of the sacraments and pastoral visits. To these were added many general maxims for their conversation and conduct as ministers, and a variety of prudential rules for their behaviour in particular circumstances and connections, in which they might be placed↑.—While the students were pursuing these important studies, some lectures were given them on civil law, the hieroglyphics and mythology of the ancients, the English history, particularly the history of Non-conformity, and the principles, on which a se
in question since the Doctor's decease. To a person conversant in the history of controversies this would be no very difficult task; and it might, in particular, easily be executed by any gentleman who, as a tutor, has made use of the lectures as a text book, and who consequently has been in the habit of referring to succeeding authors.
* No inconsiderable advantage was derived from the Doctor's being himself a man of taste, and a master of elegant composition. Without much direct instruction, the remarks which he occasionally and frequently made on the best writers, ancient and modern, were of great utility. The students, too, especially those of a classical turn, cherished in each other, by their discussions and debates, the principles of discernment with regard to the beauties of authors, whether in prose or verse.-K.
These were never printed, but will be found in the course of the present edition of the author's works.
paration from the church of England is founded*. The tutor principally insisted upon those laid down by Dr. Calamy, in his introduction to the second volume of his Defence of Moderate Non-conformity; being of the same opinion with Mr. Locke, who sent Dr. Calamy word, that " he had read his introduction, and that while the protestant dissenters kept close to those principles, they would sufficiently maintain their ground, and justify their separation from any established, national church, if that church should assume an authority to impose things, which ought to be left indifferent+."
One day in every week was set apart for public exercises. At these times the translations and orations of the junior students were read and examined. Those who had entered on the study of pneumatology and ethics, produced in their turns theses on the several subjects assigned them, which were mutually opposed and defended. Those who had finished ethics delivered homilies, (as they were called, to distinguish them from sermons) on the natural and moral perfections of God, and the several branches of moral virtue ; while the senior students brought analyses of scripture, the schemes of sermons, and afterwards the sermons themselves, which they submitted to the examination and correction of their tutor, In this part of his work he was very exact, careful and friendly; esteeming his remarks on their compositions more useful to young preachers, than any general rules of composition, which could be offered them by those, who were themselves most eminent in the profession. In this view, he furnished them with subordinate thoughts and proper scriptures for proof or illustration, retrenching what was superfluous and adding what was wanting.
It was his care, through the whole course of their studies, that his pupils might have such a variety of lectures weekly, as might engage and entertain their minds without distracting them. While they were attending and studying lectures of the greatest importance, some of less importance, though useful in them
* Such lectures might, I doubt not, be occasionally read; but they made no stated and regular part of the academical course. None of them, excepting those on Non-conformity, were delivered during my residence at Northampton, I speak with the greater confidence on the subject, as I was never absent from a single lecture, till the last month of my course, when I was prevented from attending on two or three Mondays, in consequence of having been engaged at a distance, as an occasional preacher.
+ Mayo's Funeral Sermon for Dr. Calamy, page 26.
But no such homilies, as distinct from orations and theses, occur to my recollection. Indeed, I am convinced that the distinction did not take place in my time.-K.