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THE RIGHTEOUSNESS EVANGELICAL DESCRIBED;
THE CHRISTIAN'S CONQUEST OVER THE BODY OF SIN;
FIDES FORMATA; OR, FAITH WORKING BY LOVE;
JEREMY TAYLOR, D.D.
CHAPLAIN IN ORDINARY TO KING CHARLES THE FIRST, AND SOME TIME
AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY,
REV. R. CATTERMOLE, B.D.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY
JOSEPH RICKERBY, SHERBOURN LANE,
(KING WILLIAM STREET.)
"By the constitution of the Divine Providence and ecclesiastical affairs, all the great necessities of the church have been served by the zeal of preaching, and other holy ministries, in public or private, as they could be had. By this the apostles planted the church, and the primitive bishops supported the faith of martyrs, and the hardiness of confessors, and the austerity of the retired. By this they confounded heretics and evil livers, and taught them the ways of the Spirit. It was preaching that restored the splendour of the church, when barbarism, and wars, and ignorance either sat in or broke the doctor's chair in pieces; for then it was that divers orders of religious, and especially of preachers, were erected; God inspiring into whole companies of men a zeal of preaching. And by the same instrument God restored the beauty of the church, when it was necessary she should be reformed: it was the assiduous and learned preaching of those whom God chose for his ministers in that work, that wrought the advantages, and persuaded those truths which are the enamel and
beauty of our churches." Such, in regard to the usefulness and dignity of the ordinance of preaching, is the testimony of that celebrated ornament of the Church of England, with a selection from whose discourses we commence the series of Sermons which are to find a place in the 'SACRED CLASSICS." And," he adds, in language scarcely less applicable to the present times,—" and because by the same means all things are preserved, by which they are produced, it cannot but be certain, that the present state of the church requires a greater care and prudence in this ministry than ever; especially since by preaching some endeavour to supplant preaching, and by intercepting the fruits of the flocks, to dishearten the shepherds from their attendances." 1
The faith of the pagan world sought neither to derive support nor to extend its usefulness by means of any such system of popular instruction as is here described. The pulpit, in Christian times the best ally of truth and virtue, found no place beside the blood-stained altars of superstition. Heathenism had its troops of sacrificers, its flamens, its augurs, its pontifices, but no preacher; for in the poverty of its truths it had no "good tidings" for the lips of the missionary; and, alike selfish and indifferent, it
'Taylor's Dedication of his Sermons to Lord Vaughan.