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PRINTED AT THE PITT PRESS, BY JOHN SMITH,
J. & J. J. DEIGHTON, CAMBRIDGE;
AND J. W. PARKER, WEST STRAND, LONDON.
JAMES USHER was born in Dublin, January 4, 1580, and was successively Provost of Trinity College 1610, Bishop of Meath 1620, and Archbishop of Armagh 1624. He died March 21, 1655–56.
The principal Treatise in this volume, The Answer to a Jesuit's Challenge, was first published by the learned Author in Dublin in 1624, when he was Bishop of Meath; and was reprinted in London in 1625. The third edition followed in 1631, "corrected and enlarged by the Author;" and the fourth in 1686, after his death, professing to be "corrected and augmented from a copy left under the Author's own hand." The augmentations, however, in this last edition amount to very little, and the corrections to almost less than nothing, as the errors of the third edition are very generally retained, and innumerable others of the grossest kind are superadded, so as to render the book almost illegible. sides this, the Speech in the Castle-Chamber and Sermon before the Commons, which had been printed with the edition of 1631, are omitted; and also a few passages in the Answer to the Jesuit, which possibly the Author may have designed to omit in his last revision; but the present Editor has retained them, as not thinking it safe to omit any thing of this invaluable writer upon the mere authority of an edition so shamefully inaccurate. The passages alluded to the Reader will find pointed out by notes in the margin.
The Jesuit, whose Challenge called forth this noble Answer, was William Malone, though the initials affixed to his Challenge are W. B. The reason of this discrepancy I cannot explain. The same man published a Reply to Usher's Answer, "permissu Superiorum," in the year 1627, in the Preface to which he has given an account of the