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BY JEREMY TAYLOR, D. D.
CHAPLAIN IN ORDINARY TO KING CHARLES THE FIRST, AND LATE
LORD BISHOP OF DOWN AND CONNOR.
IN THREE VOLUMES,
PUBLISHED BY WELLS AND LILLY.
SOLD BY A. T. GOODRICH, AND VAN WINKLE AND WILEY, NEW YORK-AND
M. CAREY, PHILADELPHIA.
RIGHT HONOURABLE AND TRULY NOBLE
RICHARD, LORD VAUGHAN,
EARL OF CARBERY, &c.
I now present to your Lordship a copy of those sermons, the publication of which was first designed by the appetites of that hunger and thirst of righteousness which made your dear lady (that rare soul) so dear to God, and that he was pleased speedily to satisfy her, by carrying her from our shallow and impure cisterns, to drink out of the fountains of our Saviour. My Lord, I shall but prick your tender eye, if I shall remind your Lordship how diligent a hearer, how careful a recorder, how prudent an observer, how sedulous a practiser of holy discourses she was; and that therefore it was, that what did slide through her ear, she was desirous to place before her eye, that by those windows they might enter in, and dwell in her heart : but because by this truth I shall do advantage to the following discourses, give me leave, my Lord, to fancy that this book is derived upon your Lordship almost in the nature of a legacy from her, whose every thing was dearer to your Lordship than your own eyes; and that what she was pleased to believe apt to minister to her devotions, and the religions of her pious and discerning soul, may also be allowed a place in your closet, and a portion of your retirement, and a lodging in your thoughts, that they may encourage and instruct your practice, and promote that interest which is, and ought to be, dearer to you than all those blessings and separations with which God hath remarked your family and person.
My Lord, I confess the publication of these sermons can so little serve the ends of my reputation, that I am therefore pleased the rather to do it, because I cannot at all be tempted, in so doing, to minister to any thing of vanity. Sermons may please when they first strike the ear, and yet appear flat and ignorant when they are offered to the eye, and to an understanding that can consider at leisure. I remember that a young gentleman of Athens, being to answer for his life, hired an orator to make bis defence, and it pleased him well at his first reading, but when the young man by often reading it, that he might recite it publickly by heart, began to grow weary and displeased with it, the orator bade him consider that the judges and the people were to hear it but once, and then it was likely, they, at that first instant, might be as well pleased as he. This hath often represented to my mind the condition and fortune of sermons, and that I now part with the advantage they had in their delivery; but I have sufficiently answered myself in that, and am at rest perfectly in my thoughts as to that particular, if I can in any de
gree serve the interest of souls, and (which is next to that) obey the piety, and record the memory of that dear saint, whose name and whose soul is blessed: for in both these ministries I doubt not but your Lordship will be pleased, and account as if I had done also some service to yourself: your religion makes me sure of the first, and your piety puts the latter past my fears. However, I suppose, in the whole account of this affair, this publication may be esteemed but like preaching to a numerous auditory; which if I had done, it would have been called either duty or charity, and therefore will not now so readily be censured for vanity, if I make use of all the ways I can to minister to the good of souls. But because my intentions are fair in themselves, and I hope are acceptable to God, and will be fairly expounded by your Lordship, (whom for so great reason I so much value) I shall not trouble you or the world with an apology for this so free publishing my weaknesses : I can better secure my reputation, by telling men how they ought to entertain sermons; for if they that read or hear do their duty aright, the preacher shall soon be secured of his fame, and untouched by censure.
1. For it were well if men would not inquire after the learning of the sermon, or its delicicusness to the ear or fancy, but observe its usefulness; not what concerns the preacher, but what concerns themselves; not what may take a vain reflection upon him, but what may substantially serve their own needs; that the attending to his discourses