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THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD
BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE
LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,
PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND
IT is not with the presumptuous idea, that the following Enquiry into the rise and progress of our holy religion, can convey any information to your enlightened mind, that I have taken the liberty of inscribing it to your Grace.
The eminent situation which your Grace occupies in the Church, added to your more intimate and immediate connection with this Diocese in particular, would have been a very sufficient reason, had I no other, why I should dedicate the humble fruits of my professional labors to you, who have attained the highest honors which that profession has to bestow.
But ir truth, my Lord, I have anotherand more powerful motive; and I am both proud and happy to embrace every opportunity, of shewing the grateful sense which I entertain, of the kindness which has placed me in the desirable situation from whence I am now writing. It is to the leisure at: tendant on a country residenee
that the present publication is owing. Here, to use the delightful language of Cowper,
« Here much I ruminate as much I
may, With other views of men and manners now Than once, and others of a life to come.”
I should be wholly unworthy of the advantage and pleasure which 1 derive from the gift, unless I were anxiously desirous to
express my gratitude upon every occasion, for the prompt and liberal manner in which that benefit was ferred.
Judging from the well known regard which your Grace pays to the interests of the Christian Church, and the attention which you wish should be bestowed
upon them more especially by your own clergy, of which none who have listened to your Grace's pastoral charges can be ignorant, I am willing to indulge the hope, that the attempt which is the subject of these sheets, may meet with your approbation. Indeed the principal subject of the conversation with which your Grace honoured your Clergy at the last visitation of your Diocese, must have given to us all a sufficient pledge, of your zealous desire to encourage every endeavour, towards the promoting of Christian knowledge.
Of the manner in which the present work is executed, I am but too deeply sensible of the many defects. But however small