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-in a word, to do to all men, in all things, as we would they should do unto us.
Should it appear that the means of devout communion, which this arrangement affords, produce such inestimable advantages in the families where it may be received, I shall possess a comfort which I would not exchange for any earthly distinction; and
your Lordship will participate my feelings, in that the Religion whose truth you ably defend by your learning, and whose precepts you uniformly recommend by your example, should be communicated to those who were unacquainted with its principles, and, in consequence, uninfluenced by its duties.
I am, my Lord, with great Respect,
Your Lordship's very faithful
And obedient Servant,
Vicarage, Christ Church,
October 27th, 1810.
The following circumstance produced this adap tation of Prayers to the calls and exigences of families, and private persons. A Gentleman, for whom I, very justly, entertain an high regard, was desirous of nurturing the good seeds which had taken root in his heart, and requested me to recommend to him such a collection of devotional exercises, as might console his spirit in the hour of despondency, and animate his resolution in the season of forgetfulness. Many manuals of devotion I could have mentioned; but when I first undertook this work, I knew not one easily to be procured, which I should have thought myself justified in recommending : for I should be liable to the severest self-reproach, were I instrumental in enflaming the imagination into extatic raptures, instead of impressing the heart with genuine piety. I, therefore, employed myself in collecting from the several writings of the great and good JEREMY TAYLOR, those prayers which have, often, improved the morals, and edified the minds, of their readers. I have endeavored so to adapt them to the Family, the Closet, the Sacrament, &c. &c, that every one, whether alarmed with apprehension, drooping with despondency, or rejoicing in hope,
may hold communion with God, and, by perseverance in prayer, may at last find rest to his soul.
I was further encouraged to make this Collection, in the hope that it will be esteemed an useful appendage to the * Family Sermons I have published, and which, from the patronage they have received, have been found, I trust, productive of good, in deterring from profligracy and vice; in discouraging lukewarmness and indifference in Religion; in elucidating many passages of Scripture which perplex the generality of readers; and in demonstrating to the understanding, that the doctrines of the Church are, indeed, the doctrines of the Gospel.
Bishop Taylor ranks in the very first class of English writers. The late Bishop Warburtont says, “ Tillotson is no orator, in the Greek and Roman
sense of the word, like Taylor: nor a discourser “ in their sense like Barrow ; free from their irre
gularities; but not able to reach their heights. “ You cannot sleep with Taylor; you cannot for“ bear thinking with Barrow. Taylor and Barrow
are incomparably the greatest preachers and
* My design was to have published a third volume, containing sermons for every occasion, with a biographical sketch of the several Authors; and to have reprinted the 1st and 2d volumes, which are daily enquired for; but as the Work would be attended with a very considerable expence, my booksellers wish to defer the printing of them a little longer. + Warburton's Letters to Hurd, Letter 50th.
" Divines * Dr. Parr. Vide Tracts by Warburton and a Warburtoniaa.
« Divines of their age. But my predilection is for
Taylor. He has all the abundance and solidity “ of the other, with a ray of lightning of his own,
which, if he did not derive it from Demosthenes “ and Tully, has, at least, as noble and generous
an original.” And a greater than Warburton has * said, “ Often has my mind hung with fond
ness and with admiration over the clouded, yet
clear and luminous galaxies of imagery, diffused " through the works of Bishop Taylor.” In the prayers which compose this volume, I know liot whether I shall have more exquisitely gratified taste, or more efficaciously assisted devotion. As specimens of composition, they exhibit the happy union of eloquence and piety.
I have, in various instances, appropriated to one service more prayers than many people may have leisure to use, or can command attention to profit by them. Some of them, therefore, may, either, be, entirely, omitted, or occasionally, changed, or may make two separate acts of devotion.
May these prayers become both in the Family and the Closet of every meinber of our excellent Establishment, a principle of life, a support in sickness, a refuge in distress, and an admonition in prosperity !