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I own this is my favourite Book : which, if it has raised Indignation in the Minds of some, who are ferhaps sensible that many Things in it touch them in too tendera Part ; yet on the other

Hand it has brought me such serious Acknow Hledgements from many Persons,' to me otherwise wknown but by their Letters, of the Benefit them received by it ; that I humbly bless GOD who made me an Instrument in any Sort of Promoting HIS Glory, and Edifying HIS Church, by awakning the Consciences of fo many, Clergymen to a better. Sense of their Duty, and to more Diligence in the Discharge of it. : :

I am now in the yoch Year of my Age, and as I cannot Speak long to the World in any Sort, so I cannot hope for a more solemn occasion than this of Speaking with all due Freedom both to the present and tothe fucceeding Ages": Therefore I lay hold on it to give a free Vent to those fad Thoughts that lie om my Mind both Day and

Night, and are the subject of many Secret + Mournings. I dare appeal to that GOD to whom the Secrets of my Heart are known, and to, whoin I am shortly to give an Account of my Ministry, that I have the true Interefts of this taburch ever before my Eyes, and that I pursue 'them with a fincere, and fervent Zeal; if I am:

milhakent in the Methods I follow, GÖD, to
wbom the Integrity of my Heart is known, will
not lay that to my Charge., I cannot look on,
without the deepest concern, when I See imminent

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Ruin hanging over this Church, and by Confia
quence over the whole Reformation. The out-
ward State of Things is black enough, GOD
knows; but that which beightens my Fears
rises chiefly from the inward Státe into which
we are unhappily fallen. I will, in examining:
this, confine my self to that which is the Subject
of the following Book; I mean the Clergy. :

Our Ember Weeks are the Burden and Grief

of my Life. The much greater Part of those who

come to be ordained are ignorant to a Degree,

not to be apprehended by those who are not obliged

to know it. The easiest Part of Knowledge is !

that to which they are the greatest Strangers; I

mean the plainest Parts of the Scriptures, which

they say, in Excuse of their Ignorance, that their

Tutors in the Universities never mention the

Reading of to them; so that they can give

no Account, or at least a very imperfe&t one, of

the Contents event of the Gospels,... Those who

have read some few Books, yet never seem to have

read the Scriptures. Many cannot give a toleo

rable Account even of the Catechism it self, bow

short and plain foever... Tbey cry and think it

a fad Disgrace to be denied Orders, tho the 18-

norance of Some is such, that in a well-regulated
State of Things, they won'd appear not knowing
enough to be admitted to the Holy Sacramento

This does oftentear my Heart. . The Case is

į not much better in many, who having got into Ora

der's come for Institution, and cannot make-it


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appear that they have read the Scriptures or any
one good Book since they were ordained, so that
the small Measure of Knowledge upon which they
got into Holy Orders not being improved, is in
a Way to be quite loft ; and then they tbink it a
great Hardship if they are told, they must know
the Scriptures and the Body of Divinity better,
before they can be trusted with « Care of Souls :
These Things pierce one's Soul, and make him
often cry out, Oh that I had Wings like a
Dove, for then would I fly away and be
at Rest. Wbat are we like to grow to? In what
a Cafe are we, to deal with any Adversary,
Atheist, Papift, or Dilsenters, or in any Sort to
promote the Honour of GOD, and carry on the
great Concerns of the Gospel, when fo grofs an
Ignorance in the Fundamentals of Religion has
Spread it self so much among those who ought
to teach others, and yet need that one teach
them the first Principles of the Oracles of
GOD. ;

Politicks and Party eat out among us not only Study and Learning, but that which is the only Thing that is more valuable, a true sense of Religion, with a fincere Zeal in Advancing that for which the Son of GOD both lived and died, and to which those who are received into Holy Orders have vowed to dedicate their Lives and Labours, Clamours of Scandal in any of the Clergy are not freqüent, it is true, and GOD be thanked for it : But a remifs unthinking



Course of Life, with little or no Application to Study, and the bare performing of that, which, if not done, would draw Censures when complained of, without ever pursuing the Duties of the Pas ftoral Care in any suitable Degree, is.. but too common, as well as too evident.. . ; --- But if there is too visible a Coldness among us, in that which requires our greatest Heat and Zeal; there is a great deal of flaming Heat about Matters, in which more Gentleness and a milder Temper would both look better, and more effect wally compass that which is designed by it'; I mean the bringing the Disenters into our Communion. Bitter Railings, and a rough Bebavia, our, cannot make many Converts. To study the Grounds of their Separations throughly, to answer tbem calmly and folidly, and to treat their PerSons with all Gentleness, expressing no Uncafiness at the Liberty granted them by Law, is a Method that will never fail of succeeding to a great Degree, especially on the rising Generation. Otber Methods do confirm their Prejudices, and beighten their Aversion to those who treat them as Enemies on design to rain them, and not as Friends on design to gain them. .

GOD be thanked we are delivered from a Remnant of Popery, that stuck too long to us, I mean Persecution for Conscience fake : For the Breaches on a Man's Liberty or Coods are as really a Persecution, as that which strikęs at bis Person: They may be in some Instances more uneasy;

A 4 ' . as

as a single Death is not so formidable, as to be forced to live under great Necesities, perhaps, with a numerous Family. And if we judge of this Matter by our Saviour's Rule, of doing to athers, what we would have others do ta us, our Consciences would soon decide the Queftion: If we will but bonestly ask our selves how we would have those of another Religion deat with us, if we were living in Countries where. we must depart from the Legal Establishment, if. we do truly follow the Dictates of our Conscience. But if our. Zeal in Point of Conformity seems too strong, there is no great Reason to suspect many. of much Zeal, with Relation to Popery, thothat. is our standing Enemy, perpetually imployed in Working our Ruin, with many Hands and much. Heat; wbil we seem to be in a State of Indolence, and Insensibility on that Side, as if there was no Danger from thence. When at any Time we are in a Fright, we are apt to cry out; but that is no saoner over, than we are in no Apprebenfions of any further Danger. And to their great Comfort, we have found out a new Division to add to those we laboured under before ; which we know tbey managed very dextrously for their own Ends, shifting Sides as a Turn was to be served by it : But now the Mine is more succesfully played, since not only the Breach between us and Dilsenters is very artfully widened, but we are unhappily broken among our selves, and under Ibé Names of high and low Church, there is so

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