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THE following Essay was, for the most part, drawn up above thirty years ago, by an University Tutora, for the private use of his own pupils : and some improvements were afterwards made to it by a judicious friend. It was never intended for the public view, because, in the very nature of it, it should be often changing, in some parts, according as new and better books should come out. Besides, it might be thought assuming in a private Tutor to make his directions public, as if he affected to prescribe to other young Scholars, who might better be left to take directions from their proper Tutors.
But since this little Tract has, without the Author's knowledge, and contrary to his intentions, found a way to the press b, incorrect in many things, and altered also in method to its disadvantage, it is thought proper to reprint it more correct, restoring it to its first state; that it may appear as perfect now as ever it has been.
a Dr. Waterland.
To this edition are added such books in the sciences as have lately been published, and are now in use, without prescribing however to the Tutors of the Universities, who are the properest judges.
A YOUNG STUDENT.
THE design of this is to be instead of a perpetual guide and monitor to a young student, till he takes a degree. I suppose him not without a tutor to direct, instruct, and admonish him, as occasion may require; but be a tutor ever so diligent, with any considerable number of pupils, he cannot be so particular and frequent in his instructions and advice to each of them as might be wished, or may be necessary to their well doing. To remedy this inconvenience, I have drawn up this system or manual of rules and directions, to be ready at hand for a young student's use, from the time of his first coming to college. He will find here more perhaps than any tutor can have time to say to every one of his pupils; and this small treatise lying on the table before him, may serve better than a tutor’s repeating and inculcating such advices a thousand times over: or if a tutor is absent, or busy, or forgetful, or indisposed, or any other ways hindered, the student may go on in his business and his duty, if he will but carefully observe the rules that are here prescribed. It is, I am afraid, too true, that many young students miscarry, making little or no progress in their studies, or throwing them entirely aside, and giving themselves up to idleness and debauchery, for want of being put into a good method at first, or of a right understanding of what they ought to do: for, being at a loss where to begin, and how to proceed, they often throw away a great deal of time, either in fruitless or improper studies, or in doing nothing at all: and being tired of this, they afterwards seek out for pastimes; and falling in with bad company, take ill courses, and so run headlong to their own ruin.
If the following papers may any way serve to prevent such fatal miscarriages, and help any young student to be both a better man and a better scholar, than otherwise he might be, (and it is to be hoped that with God's blessing, and due care, they may,) then the design of them is sufficiently answered, in obtaining so good an end.
I shall begin with some few advices and directions to a good and sober life; and afterwards proceed to lay down a method of study, with special rules and instructions relating thereto.
Directions for a religious and sober Life. IT is not my design to give you your whole duty towards God, your neighbour, and yourself; which would be too large a task, and is needless, because you may
find it done already by many excellent authors in print; some of which you should constantly have by you. You are to consider, that you are sent to the University, to be trained up for God's glory, and to do good in the world: remember therefore, in the first place, and above all things, to serve your Creator night and day. This is your greatest wisdom, and will be your greatest happiness : without this you must be wretched and miserable, both now and for ever. Endeavour then first to be religious, next to be learned : it is something to be a good scholar; but it is much more to be a good Christian. A sober man, with but a moderate share of learning, will be always preferable in the sight of God, and even of men too, or however of all wise men, to the most learned who want grace or