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able to match his Sense and Expression, or finish it as it ought. It hath had Five Editions more, as it was reform'd by the Reverend and W’orthy Mr. Dorrington, and a great part of it hath had divers other Editions in stollen Books of Devotions, whose Mercenary Authors have wisely conceald their Námes, left their plagiary Practices should be prov’d upon them. It now presents it self the Third time, in a new Reform, unto the World, in which I do not doubt, but it will yet have many more Editions, and, perhaps, as MBny as any Book of Devotion, in what Lan. guage foever, except the Psalter, ever had. For though Mr. Dorrington's Reform of it hath very well deserved the good Reception it. hath found, yet it was not altogether so acceptable to some discerning, as apell as devout Perfons, who were skilful in Divine Offices, and curivus in the Theory, as well as constant in the Practice of Devotions. Among these I have known not a few, who chose to mark with their Pencils whatever was amiss in the unreform’d Devotions, that they might use there for their oivn private Benefit in the Author's own Method, rather than in that of Mr. Dorrington, which, in their Judgment, was not so inflaming, nor fitted for
the great, and delightful Benefit of Social Devotions, for which the Divine Author (lo I cinnot but call him! seemed principally to contrive his Book, tho' it is no les fit for Solitary Devotions, than that of Mr. Dorrington is.
Besides, they objected that Mr. Dorrington had contracted the Four daily Offices in. to Two, that he had omitted tbe Lessons; as many of which as areCanonical Scripture the devout Author of this Reform hash continued in tbe Version of the Church of England ; that he had not reformed the Office for the Dead; that in the Other he had left out many Things, which they think as useful as axy he had taken in, together with the Versicles, Responsories, axd Antiphons, as Such ; which, with the Psalms make alienate way of Devotion which as being the most edifying, and excellent way of Worship, was used in the best and purest Ages of Chrianity, and truly resembles the Worship and Devotions of the great Choir of Saints, and Angels in the Church Triumphant, that most glorious Jerusalem, which is above.
Wherefore to oblige those devout Persons, who desired another Reformation of those Devotions, another is here presented to them in the Author's own Way, from the Pen of a moft Pious, as well as Ingenious, and A 3
Ready Writer, who hath nut left out, or
But of all others, none have it in their
of alternate Devotion, to so much Advan tage as the Religious Societies, of whose Rise and Progress, the World hath lately had an Account,by the Reverend Dr.Woodward, Minister of Poplar. It is to the Votaries of these, and such like Societies, in Colleges, Čities, or · Families, that I particularly recommend this Book of Devotions, which, in other Forms, hath already more than once been recommended to the Christian World. J. S. who, I suppose, is Mr, John Serjeant, in the Epistle Dedicatory of the Second Edition tells us, That it is the most substantial Part of Divinity, rendred usefully Practical,the best Matter delivered in the best Manner, and that it neither needs, nor courts any Man's Patronage to set it off
, as being above all the Ends, at which Dedications commonly aim, nay above the World it self, as confining upon its nearest Neiglibour Heaven. The Reverend and most Worthy Mr. Dorrington, to whom the World is so much oblig’d for the first Reform of it, tells us, in the Epistle Dedicatory, That it is a Book very excellent in its kind, and worthy, as such, to be recommended to the World; that it is fitted to possess Mens Minds with that pure, and peaceable Wisdom, which is B4
from above, to excite Devotion in the coldest, and most careless Hearts, nay, to possess with a Love of Devotion our too nice and witty Age, as being Rational, Solid, and Injenuous in its highest Flights. He thinks no Book of Devotion of any Author of the
same Communion comparable to it, and, reformed from the Errors with which it was first composed, he thinks it as fit to poffefs Mens Minds with an affectionate and powerful Sense of the Truths of Christianity, as any Book that can be met with, unless an one will except the Exposition of our Church-Catechism, composed for the use of the Diocess of Bath and Wells.
But before I proceed further in the Character of this Divine Book, I think fit to give some Account of its Offices, with some Directions about the use of them, which those, wbo are not well vers’d in Divine Offices, will not otherwise easily find out.
Know then, it consists of I welve Offices; One for every Day in the Week, One for our Saviour's Feafts, One for the Holy Ghost, One for Saints, and one for the Dead, which the Author of this Reform hath entituled, A Preparatory Office for Death, And One Proper of Festivals.