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THE

PRE FACE

TO THE

CANDID READER.

You must know, my friend, that I am

a gentleman in the country, andby craft a SHAVER of very considerable scope; notwithstanding I haveturned preacher of late, and seem to be pretty

successfulat my preachment, as the sale of this sermon will testify. I have been a great man for the news, as we Shavers commonly are, and, among other papers, I usually took in the St. James's Chronicle; a paper that is filled in all the four corners; but if you ask with what, on my word, I must refer you to people of greater penetration than I am to find that out. Well I paid and I read to no purpose for a long while; till at last I chanced to Soy An Extract of a Letter from Oxford, and I wot it pleased me mightily. A 2

It

It told us how that, Six young men were expelled the university for holding Methodistical tenets, and for praying, reading, and expounding the scriptures in a private house. Well thought I, that may work for the good of the church; but then I did not so much approve of the principal crime of those called Methodists, being said tobe reading and expounding the scriptures, &c. thought I, that is going somewhat too far. Could they find nothing worse against them, than praying, reading and

expounding the scriptures in a private boufe ? Could not they have proved them drunkards? Or made it evident that they were given to Wenching?(thing's very common in fome places, ) Or could they not have convicted the young fellows of having reviled the miracles of Christ and of Mofes, that their expulfion might have appeared the more efgible?

Not long after, I happened to see another account from Oxford, wrote by the Rev. Dr. Oxoniensis; and that account made me refolve upon something. For be tells us, that one of the Six was formerly a Publican, another had been a Blacksmith, a third a Barber, and a fourth bad been a Teacher in a School undert W

Well,

Well, you muft kraw my grandfather was a publican, my uncle a blacksmith, I myself am a haver, which is by interpretation a barber, and my eldest son, a promißng lad, is designed for a schoolmaster : therefore seeing the honours of our family cast down into the puddle by the arrogance of Oxonian priests, I began to grow furly upan it; but did not yet think of preaching. What brought me to that was, finding from the learned Dr. Oxonienfis, that tbofe young men had preached without ore ders. Then, thought I, I will even have a trial at it myself. Well, you must know we have a good sort of a fellow to our Parfon; a gentleman who loves bis bottle and his friend, if it was for a whole night together, and there is never a youth in all the parish who will fing a merrier catch, nor teli a prettier story than bimself; for be is what ye may call a merry Parson. With bim I am pretty familiar, and I thought I would even borrow his Sunday's ftile, and his orthodox plan, knowing him to be a true churchman, and I would try what I could do at preaching. But I had certainly been disappointed in an audience, if an bappy imagination had not befriended me ;, but no sooner had I beftirred my imagination, than I was wafted from Clarely-common to the great ball at Od, before the V-C

and

[vi] and the Heads of Houses, to whom, after I bad mounted the roftrum with the usual formality, I preached the following fermon, the whole world being supposed bearers :

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Concerning which Sermon I would have it observed,

1. That I pretend not to justify any part of the conduct of the Methodists, besides praying to God, reading, expounding the scriptures, and hnging hymns, &c.

2. That I cenfure none of the clergy, but such as are against praying, reading, and expounding the scriptures, and finging of bymns. 3.

That whoever this Coat is found to fit, I would have the gentleman put it on, and wear it as his own; asuring himself that it was made for him, and that, tho' a SHAVER, I am his TAYLOR,

4. That, perhaps, in gratitude for my great pains, and the new hints given in this fermon, which may cast a light upon ecclesiastical history, the V-e Cry and Heads of Houses, may present me to, fome good benefice. And they may depend

upon

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