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men : that therefore the said book, where it does not disagree with the tradition of the Primitive Catholic Church, (as I believe upon examination it will hardly ever be found to do, but on the contrary may be corroborated thereby, and by the consentient testimony of the holy Fathers of the three first centuries,) ought to be received, submitted to, and allowed its due authority
If these two principles were once put in practice, all the Ecclesiastical distractions which subsist at present, would cease ; and a truly Catholic union would be restored among all Christian Churches. That I may contribute my mite towards so desirable an end, I have here ventured to present the world with what in my humble opinion will be the only means to attain it; which is what some will call a New, but which I presume to recommend to every pious Christian as the Oldest, and therefore the Best, Collection of Devotions extant in the whole Christian world. This I dare venture to say, because I have omitted no practice or ceremony that appears to be supported by antiquity, universality, and consent; and because I have taken in all the Devotional part of the Apostolical Constitutions, (except a few particulars foreign to the present purpose,) at the same time that I have herein included such parts of the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England, as were necessary to complete the design.
As I am more disposed to peace than controversy, I waive engaging in the proof of the two principles above mentioned : but lest they should be thought to be not well grounded, and lest any thing that I might say in behalf of them should be misconstrued, or received with prejudice; I have chosen to lay before all devout and impartial Christians, in an Appendix (to which I refer them), some Extracts and Observations, taken from the writings of very eminent and learned Divines of different communions. By the Extracts the first, and by the Observations the second, principle will, I hope, be sufficiently confirmed.
* Now first inserted by the Editor :-P. H.