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TO ASSIST CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL IN ACQUIRING
WITH A LIST OF BOOKS
SUITABLE FOR A MINISTER'S LIBRARY.
BY THE REV. E. BICKERSTETH,
From the Second London Edition.
The Author gladly avails himself of the opportunity afforded by a Preface, of stating the circumstances under which this work has been prepared. He had some years since written a chapter on the Study of Divinity, which was published in 1825, in his Treatise entitled “The Christian Hearer;" but, having been led more to consider the importance of theological study ; in subsequent editions of the Christian Hearer he omitted that chapter, stating, that it was his intention, if it should please God, to publish it separately in an enlarged form, under the title of “The Christian Student."
His incessant occupations in connexion with the Church Missionary Society have hindered him from fulfilling that intention, for a longer period than he anticipated : though he has kept it in view, he has been able to give to it but scattered fragments of time. It is right candidly to state, that this work is published with the disadvantage of his generally not having been able to give any uninterrupted time and attention to it, beyond a short period early in the morning or late in the evening, and often even this at widely intervening opportunities.
But, though unable to give to it continued application or unbroken attention, he has had some advantages which he hopes may tend to make the work more practically useful than if composed entirely in seclusion from the constant occupation of active life.
He has now for upwards of twenty-five years been in the habit of studying religious works; first, for his own edification, and in the latter period also, in connexion with his ministerial and public duties. In that period, circumstances have led him to much intercourse with his Brethren in the Ministry, in different parts of the country, and this has often given him valuable hints from the experience of others. Having also acquired the habit of reading while travelling; his frequent journies in the work of the Society have enabled him to read through many books of which he otherwise should have been ignorant.