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TO THE RIGHT REVEREND
GEORGE LORD BISHOP OF LINCOLN.
I Presume to request your Lordship's protection for the following Discourses, though the Author has not the honour of being known to you; because I flatter myself they contain the genuine Doctrines of that Church, of which your Lordship is one of the ablest Pillars. If those Doctrines are expressed in a manner which may be useful to the humble followers of CHRIST, for whose instruction and comfort this little work is designed, it will want no other introduction to your Lordship; and if I am permitted to say that it has been honoured with your approbation, it can stand in need of no other recommendation to the public.
THE intention of the following Work
is to supply the ignorant, and those who wish to instruct them, with a plain and simple summary of the faith and duty of a Christian; unmixed with controversy, and level to the capacities of those who have not had the advantage of a learned education. If it shall be found to contain nothing new, I beg leave to observe that I consider that circumstance as its greatest merit. Some late experiments give us too much reason to dread novelty in Philosophy and Politics, and it is still more to be dreaded in Religion. If this volume con
tain any doctrine which is not to be proved from Scripture, and was not believed by the Primitive Church, I shall be the first to condemn it, when pointed out to me; for Christianity, like its Great Author, is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
Having had the happiness of being born and educated in the bosom of the Church of England, to which I am most firmly attached, I think it necessary to disclaim all connexion with those who seek out new paths, and presume to find fault with the method of instruction usually employed in our Church.
I have always considered the privilege of joining in our excellent Liturgy, and receiving the instructions of a regularly ordained Ministry, as an inestimable blessing. I am fully persuaded, that, taken as a body, the Clergy of the Church of England are not inferior in abilities, in Christian knowledge, or in