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8.

felves the Ministers of God, by evil Re-2 Cor. 6. port, as well as good Report, as Deceivers and yet true, rather than negle&t what may have so great an Influence upon the Welfare of those Souls committed to their Charge. And I dare undertake for those whose Modesty, as before observed, too often with holds them from magnifying their Office as tbey juftly might; that they would not only be content,

but

very much rejoice to affijt in all spiritual Affairs, such as Skall make Application to them on those Accounts; and take it for a great Comfort and Encouragement to their Labours if they could find their Parishioners ready upon all Occasions to consult them in the Concerns of their Souls, either for the Instruction of their Ignorance, for the Resolution of their Doubts, for Direction in order to the avoiding or withstanding Temptations, for their Consolation under Trials and Afflictions, or for the best Method of obtaining Pardon of their Sins, and quieting their Consciences.

I have long thought a Design of this Nature might be serviceable to the Interest of Religion, and might contribute something towards reviving the Piety and Devotion

we

of the Primitive Times; to which I wish

were as conformable in our Practices, as I am well satisfied we are in our Do. ctrines. It is for this Reason I have ventured to make this Essay, not knowing bow better to employ that Leisure and Command of Time which the good Providence of God has entrusted me with, than by consecrating it to this Service ; depending upon the same good Providence that suggested the Thought, to enable and support me in the Execution of it. And I hope a Layman may be allowed at least to express bis Desire to see Religion flouris, when so many in the same Rank make bold Attempts, in those vile and wicked Pamphlets that daily abound among us, to undermine the Christian Priesthood, and to ridicule the Mysteries of our Redemption : The mischievous Consequences whereof the State as well as the Church may feel, if not timely prevented.

I am not much concerned for those just Censures the World may fix upon the Meanness of this Performance; the Design of it will, with good People, atone for many Imperfections: Behdes, a Man of moderate Attainments may be serviceable to those

that

that bave leffer Degrees of Knowledge, as also to such wbo, though they may have Capacity, get bave not Leisure nicely to enquire into these Matters. And provided I can but in the least manner promote a Sense of Religion among those that want it, or contribute to the Increase of it where it is already entertained, I fall be much better pleased than to deserve the Praises of the most accomplished Critick.

Upon this Account I bave chose to throw the wbole Subject of these Papers into a catechetical Form; hoping thereby they may become more universally instructive ; for many can judge of the Force of an Answer who are very much puzzled to follow Reason through a Chain of Consequences.

And if there be any such Readers as shall be prevailed upon by my weak Endeavours to become more careful and follicitous about the one thing necessary; and shall be persuaded or enabled to improve the Holy Seasons of the Chụrch, to the Advantage of their Souls ; let God's holy Name have the Glory, who was pleased to bless the meanest Instrument in so great a Work. Let me only beg the Favour of their Prayers, that when upon

such

such Occasions they prostrate themselves at the Throne of Grace, and approach the holy Altars of God, they would in the Fervour of their Devotions offer up a Petition for the unworthy Author ; that among all the Changes and Chances of this mortal Life, his Heart may surely there be fixed where true Joys are to be found; and that while he is sollicitous about the Salvation of others, be may not fall short in securing his own.

All-Saints, 1703.
Ormond-Street

Rob. NELSON.

Rules

Feafts and Holy-Days begin.

E

After-Day, on which the rest depend, is al

ways the first Sunday after the first Full Moon, which happens next after the One and Twentieth Day of March. And if the Full Moon happens upon a Sunday, Eafter-Day is

the Sunday after. Advent-Sunday is always the nearest Sunday to

the Feast of St. Andrew, whether before or after.

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