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THE MOST HIGH
By the grace of GoD, King of great. BRITAIN,
THE TRANSLATOURS OF THE
Reat and manifold were the blessings (moft dread Soveraigne) which almightie GOD, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of ENGLAND, when first he fent your Majefties Royall perfon to rule and reigne over us. For whereas it was the expectation of many, who wished not well unto our SION, that upon the setting of that bright occidentall Starre, Queen ELIZABETH of most happy memory, fome thick and palpable clouds of darknesse would fo have overshadowed this land, that men should have been in doubt which way they were to walk, and that it should bardly be known who was to direct the unfetled ftate: the appearance of your MAJESTY, as of the Sun in his ftrength, inftantly difpelled thofe fuppofed and furmifed mists, and gave unto all that were well-affected, exceeding cause of comfort, especially when we beheld the government established in your HIGHNESSE, and your hopefull feed by an undoubted title, and this also accompanied with peace and tranquillity at home and abroad.
But amongst all our joyes there was no one that more filled our hearts, then the blessed continuance of the preaching of GODS facred word amongst us, which is that inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth, because the fruit thereof extendeth it felf not onely to the time spent in this tranfitory world, but directeth and disposeth men unto that eternall happinesse which is above in heaven.
Then not to fuffer this to fall to the ground, but rather to take it up, and to continue it in that state wherein the famous predeceffour of your HIGHNESSE did leave is: nay to go forward with the confidence and refolution of a man in maintaining the truth of CHRIST, and propagating it far and neare, is that which hath fo bound and firmly knit the hearts of all your MAJESTIES loyall and religious people unto you, that your very name is precious among them, their eye doth behold you with comfort, and they bleffe you in their hearts, at that fanit:fied person, who, under GOD, is the immeditate authour of their true happi
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORI E.
neffe. And this their contentment doth not diminish or decay, but every day increaseth and taketh strength, when they obferve that the zeal of your MAJESTY towards the house of GOD, doth not flack or go backward, but is more and more kindled, manifesting it felf abroad in the furthest parts of Chriftendome, by writing in defence of the truth, (which hath given such a blow unto that man of fin, as will not be healed) and every day at home, by religions and learned difcourfe, by frequenting the house of GOD, by hearing the word preached, by cherishing the teachers thereof, by caring for the Church as a most tender and loving nurfing-Father.
There are infinite arguments of this right Christian and religious affection in your M AJESTIE: but none is more forcible to declare it to others, then the vehement and perpetuated defire of the accomplishing and publishing of this work, which now with all humility we present unto your M AJ ESTIE.For when your Highnesse had once out of deep judgement apprehended how convenient it was, that out of the originall facred tongues, together with comparing of the labours, both in our own and other forreigne languages,of many worthy men who went before us, there should be one more exact translation of the holy Scriptures into the English tongue; your MAJESTIE did never defist to urge and to excite those to whom it was commended, that the work might be hastened, and that the businesse might be expedited in fo decent a manner, as a matter of fuch importance might justly require.
And now at last, by the mercy of GOD, and the continuance of our labours, it being brought unto fuch a conclufion, as that we have great hope that the church of England shall reap good fruit thereby; we hold it our duty to offer it to your MAJESTIE, not onely as to our King and Soveraigne, but as to the principall mover and authour of the work. Humbly craving of your most facred MAJESTIE, that fince things of this quality have ever been fubject to the cenfures of ill-meaning and discontented perfons, it may receive approbation and patronage from fo learned and judicious a Prince as your HIGH NESSE is, whofe allowance and acceptance of our labours, shall more honour and incourage us, then all the calumniations and hard interpretations of other men shall difmay us. So that, if on the one fide we shall be traduced by Popish perfons at home or abroad, who therefore will maligne us, because we are poore inftruments to make Gods holy truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they defire still to keep in ignorance and darknesse: or if on the other fide, we shall be maligned by felf-conceited brethren, who run their own wayes, and give liking unto nothing but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvile: we may reft fecure,fupported within by the truth and innocency of a good confcience, having walked the wayes of fimplicity and integrity, as before the LORD; and fustained without by the powerful protection of your MAJESTIES grace and favour,which will ever give countenance to honest and Christian endeavours, against bitter cenfures, and uncharitable impu
The LORD of heaven and earth bleffe your Majestie with many and happy dayes, that as bis heavenly hand hath enriched your Highneffe with many fingular and extraordinary graces; fo you may be the wonder of the world in this latter age, for happinesse and true felia city, to the honour of that great GOD, and the good of his church, through JESUS CHRIST our Lord and onely Saviour.