« PreviousContinue »
RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
SUCCESSIVELY LORD BISHOP OF RAPHOE AND DERRY:
NOW FIRST COLLECTED.
ARRANGED AND REVISED,
WITH A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, AND A COPIOUS INDEX,
BY JOSIAH PRATT, B.D. F.A.S.
ST. LAWRENCE-JEWRY, LONDON.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
AND WILSON; AND GALE AND CURTIS.
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ESQ.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE COUNTY OF YORK.
DEAR SIR :
Your high value for Bishop Hopkins's writings, and your frequent enquiries after copies of them, have contributed to recal him rapidly into notice and consequent estimation : and
your own patriotic and undaunted effort to enforce the sentiments so ably inculcated by this great Prelate, assure me that you will gladly see his Works complete in all their parts, and published with advantages which have hitherto been denied to them.
Such a publication appears to me to be peculiarly seasonable.
There is now a daring attempt, especially among men of letters, to misrepresent real Christianity, and to expose it to ridicule by identifying it with the imbecilities and extravagancies of all who profess it. And this object, originating sometimes in ignorance and sometimes in ill-will, is pursued with unabating perseverance. Every literary vehicle is pressed into the service: from the grave volume, which would reason a Christian out of the creed, for which his forefathers bled, and
wbich supplies bis only solace in life and death; to the flippant critique, which clothes him in a fool's dress that he may be pointed at with the finger of
In such a day, it becomes a difficult but important duty, to associate with unyielding firmness in defence of the truth, that candid and courteous spirit which the truth inspires : neither to sacrifice any part of it from timidity or a spirit of undue accommodation, nor to assert it against ignorant or malicious attacks with an unbecoming temper. And that author is of especial value whose works supply, within a moderate compass, the most complete refutation of whatever can be urged against true religion, by exhibiting her in her most beautiful proportions.
Such an author is Bishop Hopkins. Réason is here seated in her majesty, while she promulgates the decrees of Divine Truth: and Eloquence is employed in her legitimate province, while she enforces these decrees.
I have the utmost confidence, therefore, that you will cheerfully afford the sanction of your revered name to this publication, and remain,
With unfeigned respect and esteem,
Your obliged and obedient servant,