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one who was a faithful servant of God in his generation, "by his knowledge of learning meet for the people, and eloquent in his instructions:" and they will not take amiss the attempt to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance with respect to a very generally neglected duty.
But it is rather for the sake of another class that the Editor has been desirous to see a re-print of the present Volume. There may be some who, like himself, have only gradually, and after a struggle with their natural inclinations, been brought to adopt the views herein developed ;-some, who in time past, have been conscious that they were habitually neglecting ordinances which the Church has enjoined, and who yet wanted courage to take the line of unshrinking obedience, who were more disposed to follow the examples of those around them, and to conform to
1 Ecclus. xliv. 4.
popular feeling and practice in such matters, than to expose themselves to the chance of having their motives mis-represented, and their names cast out as evil,-of experiencing the trial described by David; "I wept, and chastened myself with fasting, and that was turned to my reproof. I put on sackcloth also, and they jested upon me." There may be those too, who as parish Priests, have been consulted year after year by members of their flock, as to the proper manner of fulfilling the Church's intentions with respect to abstinence and mortification of the flesh, and who, through false shame, have perhaps hesitated to make the confession that as with the people, so with the priest, we have all greatly fallen away from those habits of self restraint and self discipline prescribed by the Church, and that there is no wise or safe course but one, namely to retrace our steps, and accustom ourselves to those con2 Psalm lxix, 10, 11.
tinually-recurring acts of minor self-denial, which, under grace, tend to keep up in the mind a chastened and healthy tone of feeling, fitting us insensibly for greater trials, and preparing us (if need be) for witnessing a good confession, and for rejoicing that we are counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake.
To such persons especially, and to all besides, whose hearts' desire is to learn their duty, and having learned, to practise it, “perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord," it is hoped that a manual in defence of the Church's views on the subject of repentance and mortification, penned by a Prelate of unquestioned orthodoxy, may be acceptable: that it will be received as the testimony of a calm, unprejudiced witness; and that when so received, it will be acted upon stedfastly and consistently.
To those who may wish to pursue the historical branch of the subject further, it may not be irrelevant to point out in addition to the
well known disquisitions in Bingham's Antiquities (Book xxi. Ch. 1.) and in Bishop Taylor's Ductor Dubitantium (Book iii. Ch. 4.) the less-read works of Bishops Hooper and Gunning on the Lent Fast.
In conclusion, the Editor will only add his earnest prayer on behalf of those into whose hands this book may fall, that God would vouchsafe them an humble, teachable, and reverential spirit, granting them both to perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also grace and power, faithfully to fulfil the same, that so denying themselves and dy. ing daily to the things of time, they may be made meet for the pure joys of immortality.