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RIGHT REVEREND AND HONOURABLE
LORD BISHOP OF SARUM
AND CHANCELLOR OF THE HOST NOBLE ORDER
HONOURED long ago by your Friendship, and distinguished of late among the first, by your voluntary and unsolicited Patronage, it would ill become me to appear in public without paying You my tribute of Gratitude, and expressing my warmest acknowledgments for Favours, rendered doubly obligatory by the mode of conferring them. But there will appear a peculiar propriety in the introduction of your Lordship's Name at the head of this Work, when it is known that it was You, who first prompted the Author to undertake, and afterwards encouraged him, perhaps too justly diffident of his own Abilities, to persevere in it. If therefore there should be found any thing useful or valuable in-these Sheets, it must all be placed to the account of Your unwearied zeal in recommending and enforcing, upon principle, the cultivation, of Sacred Literature. It would be arrogance in me to imagine, that my weak Voice could have any influence in guiding the Public Applause. But the World will daily receive the most substantial proofs, that your Lordship comes not behind the most illustrious of Your Predecessors in any of the Qualifications, which constitute or adorn the Character of a truly Christian Bishop. That You may long live to signalize those Virtues, which must necessarily tend to advance the Credit of our most Holy Religion, confirm the Happiness of Your Diocese, and greatly endear You both to God and Man, i^ the unfeigned and ardent Prayer of,
When it was first proposed to me to revise the Text of Jeremiah, and to attempt a new Translation of it, with Notes and Illustrations, after the manner of the Bishop of London's Isaiah, it appeared to me a matter of so much difficulty and importance, as justly to merit the most mature deliberation. Though sincerely disposed to pay all due deference to the authority of my friends, and earnestly desirous, at a time when I had no immediate call in the line of my profession, to find myself engaged in some worthy occupation, whereby I might have a chance of promoting the glory of God, and the spiritual good of mankind; it could not but occur to me, that in following the plan of an Author of such distinguished eminence, from a disparity of talents a most mortifying disparity might reasonably be apprehended in the execution. On the other hand, it seemed much to be regretted, that a design of such singular utility, and for which such ample materials had been lately provided, should at once be relinquished and laid aside. The learned and venerable Prelate, with whom it began, it was but too well _ B known,
known, had neither leisure nor health to prosecute it farther. And were it necessary to wait, till another of equal qualifications should take it up, it were possible that many generations might elapse before the world might enjoy the wished for satisfaction. But from inferior abilities, some at least, though not equal, benefit might arise; and this in particular, that whilst the thoughts and attention of mankind were turned upon the subject, the discussion of such errors and mistakes as would be committed, might gradually tend to an elucidation and discovery of the truth. And therefore upon these principles, when I found no other person likely to stand forth, I determined at length to comply with what had been recommended to me; trusting to the candour of the public, which I had heretofore experienced; aud claiming no other indulgence, than, out of regard to my good intentions, to have my faults animadverted on with that gentleness and benignity, which every liberal minded person will be inclined to exercise towards others, because he must naturally wish to be so treated himself.
In regard then to the general design of this work, and the mode of its execution, I shall easily be dispensed with from entering into any minute detail, considering how fully it has been set forth and explained at large in the Bishop of London's Preliminary Dissertation. I have not had the vanity to think I could improve upon his plan; my aim has been to keep it constantly in view, and to follow it as closely, and with such success, as I could. It is obvious how much benefit I must have derived from having travelled under the directions of so excellent a guide; from