Below are current readings enjoyed at our UE fellowship usually discussed on Fridays and Sundays. As we finish these “good books”, this page will be updated with new literature. Please download in preparation or simply bring your personal experience. We are open to visitors of all sorts with plenty of Q/A.
Sunday Readings for this Year:
Given the importance of Sabbath-Keeping for our prochapel, we continue with our studies on Christian Duty and heartfelt Religion. Each Sunday we shall read, largely jumping between two titles, the reverends Richard Allestree’s Whole Duty of Man and Jeremy Taylor’s Holy Living. These writings will be backed-up by relevant portions of the Book of Homilies and some Wesleyite sermons, as usual.
For Bible studies, we are doing a lot more exhorting and personal improvement over dry-exposition. We believe private application marks the gospel as powerful, and grace cannot be well-known without conviction of sin. So, may the lowliness and filth of man be condemned while Christ reigns true and brilliant.
Online Good Books for Sunday discourse:
Whole Duty of Man laid down in a Plain and Familiar Way by the Rev’d Richard Allestree
Holy Living and Holy Dying by the Rev’d Jeremy Taylor
Catechism Background for this Year:
Having studied the “inward / outward sabbath” (below), this year we will reinforce such themes with the reverend John Lewis’ Explanation of the Church Catechism (1700). Lewis’ catechism was a staple among families, school masters, and many parish rectors during the 18th century, extending well into the 19th, in England and abroad. Lewis’ Explanation was mostly borrowed from an earlier work by Bp. John Williams. Williams drew his Exposition in 1688 for consideration in the Prayer Book review of 1689-90. Other catechisms contemporaneous to Lewis (such as Joseph Harrison’s) are basically the same. Added to this excellent Explanation are several lectures on the Catechism by our fathers-in-the-gospel of the same period, namely, the Rev’d Thomas Bray– founder of SPCK– and Bps. Gilbert Burnet & William Beveridge. Curiously, Bps. Beveridge and Burnet were important projectors of London’s earliest religious societies which later bore Dr. Bray’s SPCK. We apologize if we lack electronic copies of all these works, but some can be purchased at a relatively cheap price from various book dealers.
On weekdays, when not catechizing, we’re reading the Epistle to Romans and, later in the year, the Book of Luke. Our scriptural commentaries belong to the Drs. Daniel Whitby and Henry Hammond.
Friday & Sunday Services:
Church Catechism Explained, by Way of Questions & Answers by the Rev’d John Lewis (1845 ed.)
Church Catechism Explained by the Rt. Rev’d William Beveridge, cf. Theological Works of, v. 8.
Catechetical Lectures on the Preliminary Questions and Answers by the Rev’d Thomas Bray (3rd ed, 1694)
An Exposition of the Church Catechism by the Rt. Rev’d Gilbert Burnet (London 1710)
A good revision of Bp. John Williams’ older catechism can be read here:
Brief Exposition of the Church Catechism…New Edition by the Rev’d Thomas Horne (London 1841)
Here’s an unfolding Outline of this year’s study (and its continuation next year):
The Sabbath command can be divided between outward and inward parts. Of outward parts are private and public duties. Religious Societies pertain to a private part while discussion on the sacraments are public and pertain to the notes of the Church. Both touch upon our normal means of sanctification and manner of brotherly love. Our sponsors at baptism bring public and private duty together in a special way, reminding us the benefit of religious society with the Word and Sacrament of the church. We can then discuss violations of the Sabbath, aka. the reformation of manners, which there is a plethora of historical material to draw from. In discussing manners we make a distinction between kinds of zeal, whether angry or loving. Yet, there is no true Sabbath or zeal for God without heartfelt faith and love. To profit from Lord’s ordinances and commands, we must enjoy a simple state of salvation, namely, the desire to flee sin while fixing our eyes upon the Promises of God, secured by the perfect moral and divine character of Jehovah. His perfect moral attributes, as demonstrated in the Trinitarian love of his Son, is especially important to us. Exhortations and testimonies regarding our ongoing conversion and struggle against the world as Christian folk come to play. So, the fourth commandment, as presented in our English Bibles and the church catechism, touches many subjects, pointing simultaneously toward the love of God and the good of our neighbor. Wesley makes a similar distinction when he speaks of the Sabbath being both “hallowed” and “blessed”. The Hallowing of the Day is for God’s glory while the “blessing” is for man’s sanctification, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”– Mark 2:27 ASV. So, the command tends to straddle both tables and is a rich and inexhaustible topic for our Friday and Sunday conferences.
Of the Place and Time for Prayer by the Rt. Rev. John Jewel, cf. Book of Homilies, pp. 339-345.
On Family Religion by the Rev’d John Wesley, Sermons of… (1872 ed.), Sermon 94
The Means of Grace by Rev’d John Wesley, The Sermons of John Wesley (1872 edition), Sermon 16, p.79-86.
Worthy Receiving the Sacrament, Part 1 by the Rt. Rev. John Jewel, cf. Book of Homilies, pp. 439-446.
A Persuasive to Frequent Communion by the Most Rev’d John Tillotson, The Works of (1742 edition),pp. 163-197.
Of the Lord’s Supper and “The Duty of Prayer” by the Rev. Richard Allestree, cf. Whole Duty of Man (1719 ed.), pp. 62-90 & 102-124.
A Treatise of Repentance and of Fasting by the Rt. Rev. Symon Patrick, The Works of… ( ed.), pp. 547-589
Of Free Will by the Rt. Rev. William Beveridge, Ecclesia Anglicana (ed. 1847 ), p. 274-285.
Justification by Faith by Rev’d John Wesley, The Sermons of John Wesley (1872 edition), sermon 5
The Practice of Divine Love by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ken (1685 ed.), p. 1-9 (re: the Method of attaining God’s grace)
The Danger of Declining God by the Most Rev. Thomas Cranmer, cf. Book of Homilies, p. 81-90.
Directions for Penitents by the Rev’d John Wesley (London, 1780).
Necessity of a Christian Conversation by Sir Wiliam Dawes (London 1704)
Against Contention and Brawling by unknown author, cf. Book of Homilies, p. 134-147.
The State of Matrimony by the Rt. Rev’d John Jewel, cf. Book of Homilies (1571), p. 500-515.
Against the Excess of Apparel by the same, c.f. Book of Homilies (1571), p. 109-119.
Against Idleness by the same, c.f., Book of Homilies (1571), p. 516-524
Obligation to Observe the Sabbath & Advantages of Strictly Observing by Rt. Rev. John Sharp, The Works.. ( 1754 ed.), pp. 198-214, 232-250.
“The Necessity and Benefits of Religious Society” a letter by the Rev. George Whitefield.
Duty of Constant Communion by Rev’d John Wesley, The Sermons of, (1872 ed.), pp. 409-504
An Homily Concerning Prayer, Part 1, Part 2, & 3 by the Rt. Rev. John Jewel, cf. Book of Homilies, pp. 320-338.
The Excellency of the Soul and “Advantages” by the Rev’d Henry Venn cf. The Complete Duty of Man (1763) pp. 11-26.
“Directions to the Unconverted” by the Rev. Joseph Alleine, An Alarm to the Unconverted (1800 ed.), pp. 104-133.
The Almost Christian by Rev’d John Wesley, The Sermons of John Wesley (1872 ed.), Sermon 2, pp. 5-8.
Misery of all Mankind by the Rev’d John Harpesfield ,cf. Book of Homilies pp. 101-106
Salvation of Man by the Most Rev. Thomas Cranmer, cf. Book of Homilies p 107-118.
Sin after Baptism by the Rt. Rev. William Beveridge, Ecclesia Anglicana (1847 ed.), p. 335-342.
Perfections of the Law by the Rev’d Henry Venn, Complete Duty of Man (1763) p. 75-85.
The Cure of Evil Speaking by Rev’d John Wesley, The Sermons of John Wesley (1872 ed.), Sermon 49
Against Gluttony & Drunkenness by the Rt. Rev. John Jewel, cf. Book of Homilies, pp. 297-307.
Good Works: First of Fasting, Part 1, & Part 2 by the same, c.f. Book of Homilies, pp. 279-296
Almsdeeds and Mercifulness towards the Poor by the same, c.f. Book of Homilies, pp. 382-399