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TUMEROUS as are the works of the Author

of the following Discourse, and some of them possessed of considerable reputation, little remains known of his private history to gratify the curiosity of those who have profited by his learned and pious labours.

He is known to have received his education at Westminster School, and to have been elected thence to a Studentship at Christchurch, but his place and date of birth, and the condition of his parents have not been preserved. He seems to have resided

some years at the University, as one of the Tutors of his society, and proceeded in due course to the degrees of Master of Arts, and Bachelor and Doctor in Divinity. He was presented to the rectory of Cotesbach in Leicestershire in 1702, which he held till his death in 1727 He lived single, and was buried, by his own desire, in the churchyard, close to the east window. It was also his particular request to have no stone set up to his memory. He entirely rebuilt the parsonage house at his own cost, expending upon it a sum which would have purchased the living ; an instance of munificence which well accords with the principles which it is his object in the following work to recommend. As it is always a satisfaction to have evidence that an author is writing under the practical influence of his own principles, the Reader will welcome this information concerning Dr. Wells, for which he is indebted to the Rev. Robert Marriott, the present Rector of Cotesbach. Dr. Wells also held the living of Blechley in Buckinghamshire.

The excellent work, now reprinted, is presented, perhaps with peculiar seasonableness, to the general reader at a time like the present, when a notion extensively prevails that the beautifying and adorning of Churches is unnecessary, or even an error. It seems to be thought by numbers that the legitimate use of the precious things which nature contains lies in their ministering to the honour and grandeur of the creature. So far has the evil proceeded, that it literally does not occur to the rich,

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who come into possession of them, that they may give to God what they spend on themselves. The rare and beautiful substances which He has scattered through the material world,--excellent in themselves, and brought to perfection by what is equally His providing, the genius and skill of man, -being by creation parts of a great natural temple, so, when wrought by human art, rightfully belong to those spiritual shrines, whose very stones vibrate with the tidings of His grace. And yet so it is, that gold and silver, marbles and jewels, not to mention materials of inferior worth, are conceived as capable of nothing higher than a worldly use. No misgivings are felt about the decoration of the persons or the dwellings of sinful beings, who, if they desire to differ from other men, should put on the raiment of the Baptist rather than purple and fine linen; and while there is abundant sensitiveness of the abuses of superstition, there is an equal recklessness of the peril of pride and vainglory. Yet if the dedication of God's gifts to God have, as is objected, an idolatrous tendency, much more so, to say the least, has the consecration of them to self.

And while costliness in material is condemned as almost a sin, decency in arrangement is too often looked upon as minute trifling, and attention to

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