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One of the Parker Society's objects, as stated in the first of its Laws, is “the printing, as may appear desirable, of some of the Early English translations of the Foreign Reformers.” Accordingly, the re-publishing of the English Version of the Decades of Bullinger was announced, as in the contemplation of the Council of the Society, in a List which was appended to the Second Annual Report; and the first volume is now, at length, presented to the subscribers. The edition, which is here reprinted, is that of 1587, which scarcely differs at all, in any material respects, from the former edition of 1584, and very little from that of 1577; but any important variations between the translation and the original Latin are carefully specified in the notes. The Version was made, as stated in the title-page," by H. I. Student in Divinitie,”—"a person,” according to Strype's testimony, of eminency in the Church?.”

These Decades, it is conceived, possess a peculiar claim on the regard of the members of the Church of England. For not only was Bullinger “well-deserving of this nation for his kind entertainment and harbour of our divines and scholars that fled abroad in Queen Mary's reign, and of note for that friendship and correspondence ever after maintained between him and them?;" but several of his writings, as they became known here, were eminently appreciated by our theologians and religious persons of the era of the Reformation 3. And, above all, in the Convocation of the province of Canterbury, held in 1586, among the “ Orders for the better increase of learning in the inferior Ministers,” introduced by Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, the following direction stands foremost :-“Every minister having cure, and being under the degrees of master of arts, and batchelors of law, and not licensed to be a public preacher, shall before the second day of February next provide a Bible, and Bullinger's Decads in Latin or English, and a paper book, and shall every day read over one chapter of the Holy Scriptures, and note the principal contentes thereof briefly in his paper booke, and shall every weeke read over one Sermon in the said Decads, and note likewise the chief matters therein contained in the said paper; and shall once in every quarter (viz. within a fortnight before or after the end of the quarter) shewe his said note to some preacher nere adjoyninge to be assigned for that purpose?.” And, agreebly with this order, it is recorded by Strype, Dr. Theophilus Aylmer, Archdeacon of London, acted in his visitation in the early part of the year 1587,“ the Bishop's pious and painful sona.”

1 Strype, Ann. book 11. chap. 10, p. 145, Vol. 11. part 2. ed. Oxf. 1824.

2 Strype, Ann. ibid. p. 144. See also Strype, Mem. II. 1, pp. 531, 532, and Zurich Letters, Parker Soc. ed. pp. 41, 111, 127, 205, &c. 2nd ed.

8 See Original Letters, Parker Soc. ed. pp. 5, 9, 54, 70, 618, 620, &c. Zurich Letters, 2nd ed. pp. 39, 110, 205, 468. Strype, Ann. chap. 21, p. 383, Vol. 1. part 1, and part 2. chap. 46, p. 195, and chap. 48, p. 221. Jewel styled Bullinger, “oraculum ecclesiarum." Zurich Letters, No. Lxx. 1st series, p. 156. The University of Oxford, also, selected Bullinger's Catechism, as one of those books which the Tutors there were required to use, for the purpose of imparting sound religious principles to their pupils :-—"ad informandum in vera reli1 Cardwell's Synodalia, Vol. 11. p. 562. Oxf. 1842. Strype's Whitgift, Vol. II. p. 194. App. No. 32. Oxf. ed.

Although a Memoir of Bullinger (together with indexes to the whole work) will be given in the last volume, it may be useful here to state briefly, that he was born at Bremgarten, near Zurich, on July 18, 1504 ; commenced his studies at the University of Cologne in 1519; began to unite himself to the divines of the Reformation in the course of 1524; was chosen pastor of Zurich, on the decease of Ecolampadius, in the close of 1531 ; dedicated to Rodolph Gualter and others his first volume of the Decades, March 1, 1549; and died September 17, 1575, in the 71st year of his age 3.

N.B. The editing of these Decades having been commenced by the Rev. STEUART A. Pears, the notes which have the initial (P) affixed to them, are due to his research. gione juventutem.” Wood. Hist. et Ant. Univ. Oxon. Lib. I. p. 296. quoted in Preface, p. iv. to “Sermons on the Sacraments by Henry Bullinger.” Cambridge, 1840.

2 Strype's Aylmer, p. 83. Oxf. ed.

3 See Adami Vit. Germ. Theol. in vita Bullingeri; and “Bullinger," in Chalmers' Biograph. Dict.

FIFTY SERMONS

DIVIDED INTO

FIVE DECADES.

[BULLINGER.]

GODLIE AND LEARNED
SERMONS, DIVIDED INTO
FIVE DECADES CONTAINING THE
chiefe and principall points of Christian Religi-
on, written in three severall Tomes or Sections,

by HenrIE BYLLINGER Minister
of the Church of TygVRE in

Swicerland.
WHEREVNTO ARE ADDED CER-
TAINE EPISTLES OF THE SAME
Author concerning the Apparell of
Ministers and other indiffe-

rent things.
WITH A TRIPLE OR THREE-FOLD
Table verie fruitfull and ne-

cessarie
Translated out of Latine into English, by

H. I. Student in Diuinitie.

[graphic]

MATTHEW. 17.
This is my beloued Sonne in whom I am well pleased : Heare him.

Imprinted at London by Ralph Newberie, dwelling

in Fleete street a little aboue the Conduit,

Cum gratia & priuilegio Regice Maiestatis.

15 8 7.

[ N.B. Notwithstanding what is here stated, the edition of 1587 has not this Table prefixed to it.]

A PREFACE

TO THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, AND

TO OTHER WELL DISPOSED READERS OF

GOD'S WORD.

That just cause there is that all spiritual shepherds, and specially these of our time, should see carefully to the feeding of the flocks committed to their charge, may easily appear to him that shall but a little stay his consideration upon this matter. For first, the commandments of the Almighty touching this thing are very earnest, the authority of which should greatly enforce. Secondly, the rewards which he proposeth to vigilant and careful pastors are large and bountiful, the sweetness of which should much allure. Thirdly, the plagues and heavy judgments, which he denounceth against slothful and careless shepherds, are grievous and importable', the terror whereof should make afraid. Then the nature and condition of the sheep over whom they watch, the vigilancy of the wolf against whom they watch, the conscience in taking the fleece for which they watch, and this time and age wherein they watch, being rightly considered, will give them to understand sufficiently, that they have good occasion to watch.

How earnestly God commandeth, appeareth, Esay lviii. where he saith, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, shew my people their transgressions, and the Isai. Iviii. house of Jacob their sins." And Esay lxii. “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Hierusalem, which all the day Isai. Ixii. and all the night continually shall not cease : ye that are mindful of the Lord, keep not silence.” And John xxi. “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep, and if ye love me, feed.” And John xxi. 2 Tim. iv. “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season, improve?, rebuke, exhort, &c." How sweetly with 2 Tim. iv. rewards he allureth, doth appear in the xii. of Daniel: “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, Dan xii.

[l i. e. unsupportable: “importable power."-Spenser. P.] [2 i. e. reprove.]

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