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THE RET. HENRY COTTON, D. C. L.

ARCHDEACON OF CASHEL, &c.

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THIS PUBLICATION IS INSCRIBED,

WITH FEELINGS OF UNABATED GRATITUDE

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AND DEEP RESPECT.

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PRE FACE.

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THIRTY-ONE years have elapsed, since the appearance of the former edition of this work. During that period, the public attention has been largely directed towards this department of Biblical literature; not merely on the score of a taste for Bibliography ; but with the far higher object, of tracing with exactness the steps by which the great work of the Reformation was accomplished in the British dominions, and of further elucidating the characters of many eminent persons, who were raised up by Providence to take leading parts in those memorable transactions.

In the course of the researches which Scholars have undertaken for the above-named objects, many interesting particulars have been brought to light respecting the publication of the earliest and rarest editions of the English Scriptures. And the accidental discovery in 1831, by Mr. Rodd, a London bookseller, of a fragment of Tyndale's first printed New Testament with Glosses, led to a series of careful and connected investigations, which have resulted in placing that portion of our Ecclesiastical history upon a clearer and more satisfactory basis than before.

Do not let us forget, that the first person, who systematically undertook to bring together such information as could be gleaned from scattered sources respecting the several English translations of the Scriptures, and to add to it some historical notices of the authors and editors of those versions, was the Rev. John Lewis, Minister of Margate ; well known as the author of the lives of Wicliffe, of bishop Reginald Pecock, of William Caxton the first English printer,--and of several other literary pieces.

In the preparation of that laborious work, he received material assistance from the learned Dr. Daniel Waterland, Master of Magdalene College Cambridge; ample evidence of which may be seen, , in the correspondence of the two friends, published in the last

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