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Τ Η Ε
R E A D E R.
HE Author of the followTing, performance having
apologized, in his Preface,
for the introducing a new book of devotion into the world, from the consideration of that curiosity, so natural to the mind of man, and accompanying even piety itself, which nothing but novelty can satisfy; I might spare my self the trouble of an address to the reader, had I not a farther reason to give the world, for presenting it with this piece of our Author's; which is, its superior ex
cellency to most books of this kind, that have hitherto appear’d.
The pious Author's design is, to awake mankind to a sense of religion and virtue; and this he has endeavour'd to do in so masterly a manner, in such lively strains of devotion, with such a glowing warmth of expression, and such strong and forcible touches of religious Rhetorick, that I persuade myself, the truly serious and devout Christian will feel a sensible pleasure in reading the work; and if the Libertine will but afford it the least degree of attention, perhaps the religious fire, that glows in every page, may catch his heart, and melt it into virtue.
The character of the Author himfelf is so well establish'd by another admired performance,* that I may be excused from saying any thing upon that subject : besides, it is so well drawn by Dr. Hickes, who publish'd that work, that nothing can be added, to finish the Portrait of the great Eufebius. * The Gentleman instructed.
I shall only take the liberty, upon this occasion, of unmasking Eusebius, and acquainting the Reader, that his true name was Darrell; that he was of the very ancient family of Darrell, of Cale-bill, in the County of Kent; and that he was a Roman Catholick, But, that the Author's religion may not lie in the way of Protestants, as an objection to the reading of his works, it must be observed, that the subjects, he treats of, are merely of a moral nature, and such as are common to both persuasions, being intended, not to inform the Reader's understanding, or instruct him in matters of faith, but to animate his piety, and draw him, by the strongest motives, to the practice of religion and virtue.
The Reader will presently perceive, that this work was intended as a moral Comment on the Epistles and Gofpels for every Sunday throughout the year; but it being drawn up according to the Romish Ritual, which does not exactly (tho' it does pretty nearly) correspond with our own Liturgy, I
thought it necessary to alter the Title, at the same time that I preserved the form and method of the work.
I have only to wish, and beg of God, that it may contribute to the revival of piety, and virtue, in this age of libertinism and irreligion ; as one means towards which defireable end, under the good Providence of God, I heartily recommend it to the Publick.