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The PREFACE.

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H E kind reception the following

excellent discourses have met with, and the good they have already

done, and are still likely to do, BRNO have encouraged this edition of them; which, though small, are taken from such weighty texts which 'tis hop’d, will meet with the like success, and with equal readiness be entertain'd.

These Sermons, as well as the other works of the right reverend author, sufficiently speak their own praise ; and nothing that can possibly be laid of them, will fomuch recommend them as the serious and impartial peruial of them : yet thus much we say of them, that the true fpirit of primitive piety runs through them all, that the main doctrines of our holy religion, are therein-follidly and judiciously explain'd, and the precepts of it with all due arguments and motives enforc’d; and at the same time with such plainness as to render them useful to christians of the meanest capacities, and with fuch unaffected fimplicity as manifestly favours of the primitive and apoftolick fpirit: and tho the very namic of the author to those who have heard of him ( as who has not?) sufficiently recommends the perufal of them; yet since many testimonice have been given to them by some valuable

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hands, in justice I cannot but mention fome of them.

THE Judicious and learned Mr Nelson, in * his life of bishop Bull, having taken notice of

our pious and excellent author, says, “And now :“ I have nam'd this great and good man, I can« not forbear acknowledging the favourable dif

penfotion of providence to the age in which “ We live, in blessing it with so many of those :“ pious discourses which this truly primitive “ prelate deliver'd from the pulpit

Tu E learned Dr. Lupton, in a letter to Mr,
Nelson, occasioned by the publication of bishop
Buli's fermons, discoursing with great judgment
concerning the most proper and useful manner of
prcaching; in the clotė, ranks our venerable
prelate with St Chryfoftom himself, in these
words: “ Those therefore who are so cenforious
:* to reficct with severity upon the pious strains
es which are to be found in St. Chrysostom,
“ bishop BEVE RIDGE, or bishop Bull,
“ may possibly be good judges of an ode or an
"essay, but do not seem to criticize justly upon
** ternons, or to express a juft value for ipititu-

46 al things. ",
· Thus we see that, notwithstanding the
Dight elit fome men put on this great man's
works, they have met with the highest appro-
bation from some of the best Judges both for

learning and piery.
- This great and good bishop had very early

addicted

.

addicted himself to piety, and a religious courte of life; of which his PRIVATE THOUGHTS upon RELIGION will be a lasting evidence. They were written in his yonger years ; and he must, a considerable time before this, have devoted himself to such practices, otherwile he could never have drawn up so judicious and found a declaration of his faith, nor have formed such excellent resolutions, so agreeable to the Christian life in all its parts. These things thew him to be acquainted with the life and power of religion long before, and that even from a child be knew the holy Scriptures.

As his whole life was spent in acts of piety and charity, so he gave remarkable instances of both at his death. He left the main of his estate, at his decease, for the propagation of the gospel, and promotion of Christian knowledge at honic as well as abroad. He was so highly esteem'd among all learned and good men, that when he was dying, one of the chief of his order deservedly said of him, There goes one of the greatest and one of the best men that ever England bred. So let us feriously and impartially peruse his excellent discourses which are here presented to lis. And God grant that as much good as was done by them when preach'd, and has been done by them since their publication, much more may still be done by them for Gods glory and the falvation of fouls.

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