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TO THE HIGHT HONORABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND
SHUTE BARRINGTON, LL. D.
LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM..
The following Work was undertaken at your Lord ship's recommendation ; and, amongst other motives, for the purpose of making the most acceptable return I could make for a great and important benefit conferred upon we.
It may be unnecessary, yet not perhaps, quite impertinent, to state to your Lordship and to the reader, the several inducements that have led me once more to the press. The favor of my first and ever honored patron had put me in possession of so liberal a provision in the church, as abundantly to satisfy my wants, and much to exceed my pretensions. Your Lordship's munificence, in conjunction with that of some other excellent Prelates, who regarded my services with the partiality with which your Lordshipwas pleased to consider them, hath since placed me in ecclesiastical situations, more than adequate to every object of reasonable ambition. In the mean time, a weak, and, of late, a painful state of health, deprived me of the power of discharging the duties of my station, in a manner at all suitable; either to my sense of those duties, or to my most anxious wishes concerning them. My inability for the public functions of my profession, anjongst other conse- quences, left me much at leisure. That leisure was not to . be lost. It was only in my study that I could repa ir my deficiencies in the church. It was only through the press that I could speak. These circuinstances, in particular, entitled your Lordship to call upon me for the only species. of exertion of which I was capable, and disposed ine, without hesitation, to obey the call in the best manner that I i could. In the choice of a subject had no place left for doubt:in saying which, I do not so much refur, either to the supreme inportance of the subject, or to any scepticism. concerning it with which the present times are charged, as,