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TO THE PUBLIC.
The Conductors of this work having brought the Second Volume to a conclusion, the public in general, and the friends of religion in particular, have now a full opportunity of estimating the value of the undertaking, as well with respect to its design, as execution. They deem it to be no trifling cause in which they are engaged. It is the cause of God and of truth. The writings of the Reformers are distinguished by an union of great integrity with great simplicity. The style and matter are characteristic of the age wherein they lived. It was an æra of revived learning, as well as renovated piety. The confessors, martyrs, and fathers of the English church, were, in common with their brethren on the continent, raised up of God, for the great work of overturning the kingdom of Antichrist, and reestablishing the principles of primitive truth, as it was first delivered by Christ and his Apostles.
In this endeavour God blessed their labours. They lived, they preached, they wrote, not after the manner of "the children of this world,” but as those of “ the generation of light.” Many of them, after they had passed the days of their pilgrimage here in unceasing conflict with the powers o: darkness, were at length honoured with the crown of martyrdom. Nevertheless, they, “
" being dead, yet speak.” Their memorial is still preserved in the universal establishment of the Protestant religion throughout this land; in the public declaration of their doc. trines, as contained in the Liturgy, Articles, Ho
milies, and Catechisms of the Church of England; and in the valuable remains of their private writings, which it is the design of this publication to collect and transmit to posterity.
The increasing attention, which has of late years been excited towards the works of the Reformers and early divines of the Protestant churches, has already been, and it is hoped, will continue to be highly ad* vantageous to the cause of true piety and theological learning. Many eminent prelates of our church have on various occasions strongly recommended the study of the writings of the fathers of the English church, to the younger clergy and students in divinity.
The Clarendon press has of late becn frequently occupied in the republication of the writings of our earlier divines. The Enchiridion Theologicum of Bishop Randolph, contains King Edward's Catechism, Bishop Ridley's Protestations, with his treatise on Transubstantiation, Bishop Jewel's Apology, and Noel's Catechisin. Bishop Cleaver has also edited Noel's Catechism, and added notes to it. New editions of Hooker's works, Walton's Lives, and the Homilies, have been published by the university of Oxford. To these may be added, the Sylloge Confessionum, a collection of the confessions of faith of some of the principal foreign Protestant churches.
Editions of the works of Bishop Hall and Archbishop Leighton have been recently published, and favourably received.
The publication of “ The Fathers of the English Church,” will, it is presumed, form a very valuable addition to the remains of Protestant antiquity above mentioned.
In the P:eface to the former Volume the plan and design of the work have been explained.
The First Volume contains the works of those Re
formers who flourished in the reign of King Henry VIII. and died before the public reformation of the church,
The present Volume contains entire expositions on the Ephesians and Philippians, by Dr. Lancelot Ridley. Very few copies of this author's works are extant; the only one to which access could be gained is in the public library of the university of Cambridge. He flourished both in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI.
The Catechism of King Edward has been collated with an original copy in the same library. The Conductors have also published this valuable Catechism, as a separate tract, in order to promote its more extended circulation.
The praise of Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, is in all the churches.
Eleven entire sermons, and extracts from others, are inserted in this Volume.
The Third Volume will commence with the works of Archbishop Cranmer. The first tract will be printed from a manuscript in the library of C. C. College in Cambridge. It was never before published entire.
A very scarce Catechism of that great Reformer, bearing the date of 1548, will also be inserted.
The Conductors trust that this publication will appear to their readers to be carried on with that impartiality and fidelity, which may entitle it to general patronage and circulation.
They think it right to take this opportunity of mentioning the satisfaction which they have felt, on receiving letters from some distinguished prelates of the church of England, expressing their approbation of the plan and execution of the First Volume.
Conscious of the importance of their work, and they trust they may be permitted to add, of the integrity with which they are resolved to carry it on, they submit it with many prayers to the great Head of the church, that he will own and bless the feeblest endeavours to promote his glory and the edification of his church. THE
THE SUMAND CONTENT OF ALL THE HOLY SCRIPTURE,
BOTH OF THE OLD AND New TestaMENT ; As prefixed to many of the principal Translations of
the Holy Bible; published in the Reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI.viz.in MATTHEW's, A.D. 1537: CRANMER's, or the Great Bible, A.D. 1539; TAVERNER's, A. D. 1539: BECKE's, A. D. 1549 : from the last of which, viz. that of Edmund Becke, the following is copied. Who was the Author of
this “ Sum and Content,” is uncertain. First, the holy writings of the Bible teach us, that there is one God Almighty, that hath neither beginning nor ending: which of his own goodness did create all things : of whom all things proceed, and without whom there is nothing ; which is righteous and merciful, and which worketh all things in all, after his will; of whom it may not be demanded, wherefore he doth this, or that.
Then, that this very God did create Adam, the first man, after his own image and similitude, and did ordain and appoint him lord of all the creatures in