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OFFICES OF DEVOTION
AND FOR PARTICULAR PERSONS,
UPON MOST OCCASIONS.
BY BENJAMIN JENKS,
LATE RECTOR OF HARLEY IN SHROPSHIRE, AND CHAPLAIN
Men ought always to pray, and not to faint. LUKE viii. 1.
Altered and Improved
FELLOW OF KING'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
Having undertaken to publish this volume in a corrected state, it seems proper that the Editor should assign his reasons for it to the public. He has for very many years considered this book as an exceedingly rich treasure to the Church of God. Its distinguishing excellency is, that far the greater part of the prayers appear to have been prayed and not written. There is a spirit of humiliation in them, which is admirably suited to express the sentiments and feelings of a contrite heart. There is also a fervour of devotion in them, which can scarcely fail of kindling a corresponding flame in the breasts of those who use them. But it is needless to pronounce an eulogy on a book, the value of which has been already stamped by the sale of many myriads. There are however faults in it, which exceedingly need correction. The sentences are too long ; the sense is often perplexed ; and the antitheses are so numerous, as to be very ill suited to modern taste. These things the Editor has endeavoured to correct; yet not in such a manner as to give a new style and character to the book. It seems right,
that the Author should appear in his native dress, except where the edification of the public rendered a change necessary. To some, it is probable, the Editor will appear to have altered too much, and to others too little : but, on whatever side he may have erred, it has not been for want of care and endeavour to do right.
In the new arrangement of the Prayers, the facility of finding any particular subject will, it is presumed, be greatly increased.
To have made the Soliloquy on the Creed at all congenial with his wishes, the Editor must have altered almost the whole of it. He has therefore contented himself with making only such alterations as were absolutely necessary; and he would have omitted it altogether, had he not been afraid, that some few might have regretted the loss of it.
As to the sentiments contained in this book, no alteration whatever was wanted ; nor has any been made, except in one single word, which, if particularly noticed by a Caviller, might possibly have administered to strife.
To the best of his power, the Editor has consulted the benefit of the Church of Christ : and, if this volume be found in future better adapted to their use in the family and the closet, he shall consider his labour as very richly compensated.
THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER.
I WAITED with some impatience to see that design accomplished by your accurate pen, which is here attempted now by my weak hand. Ever since you were pleased to acquaint me with your intention to publish something of this nature, it raised my expectation of your obliging the world with your printed PRAYERS, as you have done with many your
learned and seasonable SERMONS : but after you had let me know the reason of holding your hand, the same might have stopped mine too, and I should have desisted, had the good Doctor who prevented you, or any of those worthy AUTHORS that thus bestowed their pains, descended to such particulars, as I thought fit for the use of those whom I desire to serve.