« PreviousContinue »
ing sensible, “ That Men of weaker Un “derstandings, stand in need of short and “ plain Discourses, such as they can from “ their necessary Business get time to read, “ and fuch as reading they are able to understand ; and for their lakes did he publish that plain and useful Treatise abovementioned.
Those other Books which he liv'd to publith, are no less excellent in their kind, and among those I will crave leave to mention a little one, which he chose to be disinguish'd by in some of his later Discourses, Itiled the Summ of Christianity, which is deservedly reckoned one of the best of its kind, that was ever princed ; and hath been distributed in great Numbers among the poorer fort of People in this, and other Counties, together with his Scripture Cuo techism, no less excellent, in that judicious and pertinent Application of the Holy Scriptures, to the several parts of the Church Catechism. These Books were design'd for common Use and Benefit, and to be purchas'd at an easy Price for the poorec sort of People; and which, in a great meafure, did fully answer the Expectation of our Author, in those leveral Imprellions made of them.
The Reader shall be troubled with no farther Account of his Treatises, which he
pub. published in his Life. Some Account must be now given of what is here, or shall heres after be presented. . .;
He must, in the first place, be inform’d, that there was a Design above a Year ago to prinċ these Discourses, with several o thers, by a Subscription, and Proposals were made accordingly, which met with good Encouragement; but some Difference afterwards arising concerning the same betwixt. the Bookseller and Editor, it hach been resolved to lay aside the Subscription, and to publish this Volume of our Author's Works to take its fate ; and if it meets with a kind Acceptance from the Publick, a second Volume will immediately follow, no less perfect than this, if not more Correct, because it will consist of such Discourfes, that some time ago were Licens'd for the Press by the Reverend Dr. Barker and Dr. Itam, though the printing of them was fufpended for some Reasons. . ir
As to these Discourses upon the Parables, which are now offer'd, the Reader shall not be preposlefs’d with any particular Account, or Commendation of them; it is hoped that they will be able to speak for themselves, and obtain his Favour and good Acceptance. And tho' the Subject matter of these Parables has been very well
handled by other Writers, yet, the great compass which our Author has taken in his Explication of them, may render them as acceptable as any of those which have been already Printed.
The Author had considered fome, if not. most of the other Parables ; but they being less perfect and intire, the Publication of them will be suspended, if not totally omitted,
· As to the other Tracts which may Compose the Second Volume, they will consist of a large Discourse, Ențituled, The great work of a Christian; or, the Necessity and Method of working out his Salvation, divided into several Chapters ; and a large and most excellent Discourse of Communicating often in the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which our Author design'd shou'd be printed together; and if these should not be fufficient to make up the Second Volume, one or two of those Sermons, which were mention'd in the former printed Proposals, will be Annex'd to them.
There will be a third Volume of Sermons, if not a fourth, upon practical Subjects, which had been fairly transcrib'd for the Press by the worthy Author. All which will be Printed in due time, if the Publisher
meet with Encouragement. Besides thefe,' the Author, in the laft Year of his Life, writ a large and full Explication of the Church Catechifm, and which he finish'd with great care and exactness, and left it to the Consideration of some of his Brethren of the Clergy, whether it should be made publick ; and which has been so well ap. prov'd by those that have perus’d it, that it is likely to see the Light, and be publish'd by its felf.
The Reader being thus briefly acquainted with what may be expected from the Pofthumous Works of this our Pious and Reverend Author, the remaining part of the Preface shall be spent in giving some short Account of his Life, and which may be expected from that worthy Character which he bóre in the Place and County to which he belong’d.
He was born at Rose Castle in Cumberland in the Year of our Lord 1633, when the Pious and Learned Dr. Potter was Bishop of Carlisle, who had been Tutor to his Father in Queens College in Oxford, and afterwards brought him to Rose Castle, to manage the concerns of his Temporal Estate, and which he did with that Fidelity, as to pro. cure much favour and respect from the faid
His Son Clement being Born at this place, the good Bishop was one of his Godfathers, and took care to have him Educated in his Family, which most probably laid the Foundation of that Piety and Goodness which were fo eminently Conspicuous in him, and the early Impressions which he receiv'd from the Bishop in matters of Religion, was that which he esteem'd the peculiar Bleffing of his Life.
The good Bishop dying at the beginning of the Civil War, Mr. Ellis, the Father, kept possession of Rose Castle for the King, and defended it for some considerable time against the Rebels'; but at last was forc'd to surrender it at Discretion, and was long detain'd Prisoner for his firm Adherence to the Royal Cause. He suffered very much in his own Estate, and which rendred him incapable of sending his Son to Oxford, whither he was design'd, and when, by Age and other Qualifications, it was time for him to be admitred in that University. But it so providentially feltout, that the Reverend Mr Barlow ( afterwards Bishop of Lincoln ) and Mr. Tully, Fellows of Queens College in Oxford, came to visit their Friends in Cumberland, and finding the great streights which their old Friend, and Fellow Collegian, was then reduced to, and his utter Incapacity of maintaining his Şon in the University i ha