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In committing the following pages to the press, it has been the Author's object to furnish the generality of readers with a Compendium of their Faith and Duty, as Christians; of a size which may meet, not only their means of purchasing such a work, but the time, also, that can be bestowed, by all who are desirous of becoming acquainted with Religious Truth, upon a study of so great importance.
In the further prosecution of this design, the Author has been induced to adopt the inimitable language of our Common Prayer-Book; from an idea, that, whilst the frequency of their acquaintance with it, and the plainness of its style, will render it familiar and intelligible to all, its sublimity and devotion will commend it to their serious perusal.
He has, therefore, throughout the whole, endeavoured to confine himself, as closely as possible, to the Liturgy, Services, and Articles of the Church of England ; and has introduced, besides these, only such words as he considered necessary for the connection of the sense.
The Author is not aware that a work of the kind which he has taken in hand, is at present in existence *. True; the Common Prayer-Book contains the same instruction, but not arranged according to subjects. And many, it is to be feared, have been conversant, year after year, with that incomparable Manual of a Christian's Devotions; but have known little of the scope, and have entered as little into the spirit, of the Faith and Doctrines which it sets forth.
That, in these, and indeed in other more attentive breasts, an increased life and vigour may accompany such, their professed, Faith; that so they may be led to a more practical application of those Doctrines to their own hearts; the Author has been induced to undertake the present work.
Would that an abler pen had conducted the compilation! The matter, however, and the language, are such as few works can equal --none excel. The former is the subject matter of the Holy Scriptures; the latter, the impressive language of our venerable Church : and if, thus conjoined, they
* The learned Dr. Burrow, in his “ Summary of Christian Faith and Practice," has given, under the different Sections of his work, selections from the Common Prayer-Book ; but neither arranged in any connected form, nor,
from the bulk to which the other concomitant and useful matter has swelled the Volumes, within the reach of the general Reader. As far as the Author of the present sheets has derived assistance from those of Dr. Burrow, he takes this opportunity of tendering his thanks to that able Divine, and of recommending his very valuable
Summary" to the Christian World.
shall, under the blessing of God, be the means of attaching one Member, more sincerely, to his Church ; and, more especially, of leading but one soul, in this world, to a knowledge of Divine • Truth, and, in the world to come, to life everlasting •;' the Author will, with unceasing gratitude, consider that his · labour has not been in vain in the Lord b!
At the bottom of each page, references are given to the several quotations from the Prayer-Book ; and were it not that it would have materially increased the size of the work, there would, likewise, have been added similar references to parallel passages from Holy Writ. This may be done at some future period.
Prayer of St. Chrysostom.
b 1 Cor. xv. 58.