« AnteriorContinuar »
directed them both in what they taught, and in what they ordained.
What that doctrine, government and discipline is, I have particularly shewn in the 11th chapter of my discourse. I shall only observe here, that is it so exactly agreeable to the present doctrine, government and discipline of the church of England by law established; that no one who allows of the one, can reasonably make any exceptions against the other. So that we must either say, that the immediate successors of the Apostles had departed from the institution of those holy men from whom they received their instruction in the Gospel of Christ, and by whom they were converted to the faith of it: or if that be too unreasonable to be supposed of such excellent persons, who not only lived in some of the bighest stations of the Christian Church, but the most of them suffered martyrdom for the sake of it: we must then conclude what is indeed the truth, that the church of England, whereof we are members, is both in its doctrine, govern
discipline and worship, truly Apostolical; and ment. & in all respects comes the nearest up to the primitive pattern of any Christian Church at this day in the world.
SEVERAL PIECES CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK, AND THE ORDER
A discourse concerning the treatises here collected, and the authors of them.
The first Epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians.
A relation of the martyrdom of St. Ignatius, written by those who were present at his sufferings.
The Epistle of the Church of Smyrna, concerning the martyrdom of St. Polycarp.
The Catholick Epistle of St. Barnabas.
The remains of St. Clement's second Epistle to the Corinthians.
An index to both parts.
CONCERNING THE SEVERAL TREATISES CONTAINED IN THE
FOLLOWING COLLECTION, AND THE AUTHORS OF THEM,
1. HAD I designed the following collection either for the benefit or perusal of the learned world, I should have needed to say but very little by way of introduction to it: the editors of the several treatises here put together, having already observed so much upon each of them, that it would I believe be difficult to discover, I am sure would be very needless to trouble the reader with any more.
2. But as it would be ridiculous for me to pretend to have designed a translation for those who are able with much more profit and satisfaction to go to the originals; so, being now to address myself to those especially who want that ability, I suppose it may not be amiss before I lead them to the discourses themselves, to give them some account both of the authors of the several pieces I have here collected ; and of the tracts themselves; and of that collection that is now the first time made of them in our own tongue.Though as to the first of these, I shall say the less, by reason of that excellent account that has been already given of the most of them by our pious and learned Dr. Cave: whose lives of the Apostles and Primitive Fathers, with his other admirable discourse of Primitive Christianity, I could heartily wish were in the hands of all the more judicious part of our English readers.
3. Nor may such an accountt, as I now propose to myself to give of the following pieces, be altogether useless to some even of the learned themselves; who wanting either the opportunity of collecting the several authors necessary for such a search, or leisure to examine them, may not be unwilling to see that faithfully brought together under one short and general view, which would have required some time and labour to have searched out, as it lay diffused in a multitude of writers, out of which they must otherwise have gathered it.