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tection of the powerful; and still remain in the precarious situation of a curate, with every succeeding year adding gradually to the number of my duties, and subtracting something from my ability to fulfil them. But, whilst I trouble your Grace with this representation, I entreat that my motives for so doing may not be misconstrued, nor myself be considered in the character of a petitioner. I assert no merit; I request no favour; I press for no preferment; I claim no reward. I mean merely to submit to the attention of your Grace a few plain but striking facts; and to leave them to make that impression upon your Grace's mind, which the generality of the world will (I am inclined to believe) consider them so well calculated to produce.
I am, with the highest respect,
Your Grace's dutiful and obedient servant,
Bath, March 1, 1809.
Curate of St. James's Parish, Bath.
Theological Works, by the Rev. R. Warner.
The BOOK of COMMON PRAYER; to which is prefixed an INTRODUCTION, comprifing a Hiftory of the English Liturgy; a Sketch of the Reformation of Religion in England; and a View of the English Tranflations of the Holy Scriptures. The Calendar, Rubrics, Services, and Book of Pfalms, are accompanied with NOTES, Hiftorical, Explanatory, and Illuftrative.
The LIFE of Our Moft Bleffed LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, or the ENGLISH DIATESSARON; from the compounded Texts of the Four Holy Evangelifts, according to the Greek arrange ment of Profeffor WHITE; with NOTES Illuftrative and Explanatory, Hiftorical and Topographical. Accompanied by a brief Harmony of the Gofpels, a Map of the Holy Land, and copious Indexes. 6s. boards.
PRACTICAL DISCOURSES on the Evidences, Doctrines, and Duties of CHRISTIANITY. 2 vols. 14s.
SIX OCCASIONAL SERMONS.
A COMPENDIUM of CHRISTIANITY, or INSTITUTES of our HOLY RELIGION, in familiar Questions and Answers.
A FAMILIAR COMPANION to the HOLY COMMUNION; with PRAYERS and THANKSGIVINGS, adapted to its Services. The Object of this Work is four-fold:
ift. To explain the ceremonial Part of the Lord's Supper. 2d. To point out the End and Design of the Inftitution. 3d. To combat the popular Objections against partaking it.
4th. Toexplain what conftitutes a proper Preparation for its celebration.
P R E F A C Е.
has been the object of the Editor in preparing for the public the present edition of "The Book of Common Prayer," to increase the utility of our admirable Liturgy, by rendering it more generally and completely understood, than there is reason to apprehend it at present is. For this purpose he has prefixed an Introduction, containing an account of its origin, progress, and completion; and added to the Tables, Rules, Calendar, Rubrics, and Services, a series of Notes, historical, explanatory, and illustrative, drawn from the best authorities, and thrown into the most familiar form. These will be found to contain some curious information with respect to the Tables, Rules, and Calendar; an account of the occasions on which the different Rubrics were established; and notices of the sources whence the various Services of the Church have been compiled; and the times when they were introduced into the
places which they now respectively occupy. With these notes are incorporated familiar explanations of the obscure or difficult passages in the Epistles, Gospels, and Psalms corrections of mistranslations in them; and illustrations of their numerous references to the ancient history, customs, and manners of the Jewish and Eastern nations. Editor lays claim to no originality in his materials, . and to no very extensive research in his collection of them. The merit of his performance (if merit it may assert) arises from his having drawn together, and brought into one point of view, many aids towards the understanding of our National Liturgy, which, from their having been hitherto dispersed through various works, were not easily made, and therefore would not probably become, the objects of general attainment.
I could not avail myself of the able assistance which I have received with respect to the Book of Psalms, without acknowledging that it was derived from my very intelligent friend, the Rev. THOMAS FALCONER, A. M. Bath; to whose candour, sagacity, and learning, I am proud to confess myself having been often indebted.
5 Controverfy forms no part of the plan of the prefent introduction, priety of a national precompofed Liturgy; efpecially, as it is to be fuppofed, that the perfons by whom this volume will be ufed, muft take it for granted, that the argument is in their favour; and fince it is not to be hoped, that they who difallow a public form of Common Prayer, would be induced to change their opinion, by any thing that could be included within the compafs of a fhort preface, after having refifted the reafoning of those able writers of the established church, who have taken the affirmative fide of the queftion. But, without dipping our pen in difputation, we may be allowed to unite ourselves with thefe learned champions of our Liturgy, in their admiration and praife of its affecting fervices; which, in point of beauty, pathos, and grandeur, leave far behind them all other human compofitions; fervices which equally engage the refpect of the understanding, awaken the fenfibilities of the foul, and intereft all the beft affections of the hart. "Though all the churches in the world," fays one of its panegyrifts," * "have, and ever had, forms of prayer; yet none was ever bleffed with fo comprehenfive, fo exact, fo inoffenfive a compofure as ours; which is fo judiciously contrived, that the wifeft may exercife at once their knowledge and devotion, and yet fo plain, that the most ignorant may pray with understanding; fo full, that nothing is omitted which is fit to be asked in public; and fo particular, that it compriseth moit things which we would afk in private; and yet fo fhort as not to tire any that hath true devotion. Its doctrine is pure and primitive; its ceremonies fo few and innocent, that most of the Chriftian world agree in them: its method is exact and natural, its language fignificant and perfpicuous, most of the words and phrafes being taken out of the holy fcriptures, and the reft are the expreffions of the first and pureft ages; fo that whofo ever takes exception at thefe, muft quarrel with the language of the Holy Ghoft, and fall out with the Church in her greatest innocence; and in the opinion of the most impartial and excellent Grotius, (who was no member of, nor had any obligation to, this church) the English Liturgy comes fo near to the primitive pattern, that none of the reformed churches can compare with it."
It will readily be supposed that a fabric like this, of fuch majefty and utility, of fuch harmony of parts and folidity of ftructure, could not be the work of unskilful architects, nor the production of hafte and inconfideration; and we accordingly find, that it was by the combination of the moft refpectable abilities, (which, united extenfive learning with fervent piety, and with which we have every reafon to believe the Divine grace cooperated) and by a progress marked by caution, wifdom, and deliberation, that our "Book of Common Prayer" attained that character of perfection, to which it may at prefent, without prefumption, lay the faireft claim.
The reformation of religion in this country may be faid to have commenced with Wickliffe in the fourteenth century; who has been aptly called "the morning ftar" of this glorious work. This great man re
* Dr. Comber.