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When I have turned over these Confiderations in my Mind, I have wondered how some of our modern Writers should censure Poetry as too light and airy a Study for the Gravity of a Divine : For certainly, it can never be unbecoming a Clergyman, to Spend those Hours which the Offices of his Function will allow, in the cultivating of an Art, which is so pleasing to God, and useful to his Church, and which the best of Men have been authorized by the Holy Ghost to profecute with the utmos Vigour and Application.I am glad I have the judgment of so considerable an Author on my Side, that the leisire Hours, which have been Spent by a Clergyman, on religious and useful Poetry, have not been unbecomingly tri. fied away.

WHETHER that which follows, be of this Kind, let the Reader judge.---+It is the Advice and Direction of our learned and good

Bishop,

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Bishop, in his excellent Charge to the Clergy of his Diocese, concerning the proper Methods of opposing and defeating the present Attenipts of Infidels against the Christian Religion : “ That we preach frequently

to our People upon the great Principles and Doctrines of the Christian Faith,

as well to explain them, as to enforce " the Duties which naturally result from " them; that fo, Principle and Practice

may go Hand in Hand, as they do “ throughout the whole Christian Scheme, “ and as they certainly ought to do

throughout the Preaching of every “ Christian Minister."

I hope I have paid fome Regard to this wife Injunction, in the plain Verses before you ; which, containing the Great and Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian Faith, with the particular Duties which more immediately flow from them, I hope may be of Use and Service to such as do not attend to,

or

or retain in their Minds, as they ought, our catechetical Expositions and Sermons; and also to such as will not so much as come to bear them; according to those Lines of the divine Poet : A Verse may find him, who a Sermon flies ; And turn Delight into a Sacrifice.

THEY who desire to be good Chriftians, and in Times of the greatest Danger, to hold fast the Profession of their Faith without wavering (Heb. x. 23.) must in order thereto, Firß, endeavour to understand, so far as they are capable, the Faith they profess; the great Mysteries of Christianity; fuch as the Divinity, Incarnation, Birth, Death and Passion, Resurrection and Afcen, fion of our Saviour ; the Descent of the Holy Ghost, and the Do&trine of the Trinity in Unity, into the Belief of which we are haptized. And that we may under stand' them, and practically believe them, the Church of England has established an excellent Order

and

and Method to secure their being taught the People, by appointing peculiar Times of the Year for the teaching of them. And Experience shews, that this one Rule, well observed, has been the chief Means of preferving Christianity in the worst of Times, and under the most barbarous Tyranny and Persecution of the Turks.

THE Author of The Present State of the Greek Church, 'cwns, that be admired whence it came that fo few, of the Eastern Chriftians were profelyted to Mahome. tism, considering their Circumstances.;. and concludes tbus : At last, being on the Place, Says he, I learnt that the folemn Observation of Festivals and Fafts, by God's Aflifeance, prevented the whole Eaft from falling entirely from the Christian Faith. Chiefly, if not only, by means of These, the. Christian Religión triumphs over fo: many. moft

. cruel Contrivances ; being secured and fenced by This against the Poison of Mahometism:

For

For, by the Return of these Feafts, which are celebrated by great Crouds, with an holy Emulation, the History of the Conception, Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, with the Rest of the Mysteries that make up the Sum of our Religion, are brought to their Memory, &c. *

As to the Poetry, the Reader will find here, I have this to say, That as there are many who are

not so good Judges of it, as others; nor have the Learning, or Acuteness, or Vivacity of Thought, as others; yet may be as Honest and Sincere, as Vertuous and Pious as they ; fo I have suited the Poems accordingly, even to the Capacity of th: meanefi.

I CONFESS, I have not fudied so much to improve the Art, as the Subject of Poetry ; not to entertain the Reader with a

B

Luxu

*. See the Preface to A Mapval of Prayers and Devotions for the principal Festivals and Fafts of the Church.

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