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TO THE FIRST EDITION.
THE Ritual Formularies of the English Church have been illustrated by so many learned divines, that the reader may justly claim some explanation of the necessity and the nature of the present work.
The valuable writings of L'ESTRANGE, NICHOLLS, WHEATLY, SHEPHERD, and Bishop MANT, contain excellent commentaries, both practical and doctrinal, on the rubrics and prayers of our Ritual ; and perhaps scarcely any thing can be added to the information which they have conveyed on these points. But the field of historical and antiquarian discussion is more open. In itself more extensive, it has perhaps been less explored; and its fertility is so great, that had it been consistent with my plan, there would have been no difficulty in very considerably extending these volumes.
Such topics are, in fact, connected with much that is important; for he who is acquainted with the principles and practice of early times, will best