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an acquaintance with many curious and interesting Tracts of the above description, had associated, for the purpose of attempting some good by bringing them into public notice; in the persuasion that a judicious revival of this ancient literature was likely to produce a very beneficial effect, in suppressing many a false doctrine and correcting many a pernicious error.
In the course of the last century, several Collections of a similar kind appeared; among which some of the most distinguished were, Dr. Hickes's "Bibliotheca Scriptorum Ecclesiae Anglicanae," in one vol. 8vo. 1709; " The London Cases," in 3 vols. 8vo. 1718; " Tracts on Providence and Predestination, by Plaifere and others," in one vol. 8vo. 1719; " A Preservative against Popery," in 3 vols, folio, 1738; and lastly, "The Scholar armed against the Errors of the Times," in 2 vols. 8vo. 1795. Some of these Collections are now become scarce: and there are still rich gleanings to be gathered from the field in which these our predeceflbrs so successfully laboured. The Compilers of the present Work hope, therefore, to carry on their design, in such a manner as to furnish the Theological Student with an ample
supply supply of weighty and important arguments, in vindication of the truly Apostolical Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, which too many in these days either ignorantly depreciate, or maliciously endeavour to undermine.
The present Work differs from any preceding one of the kind, as to the mode of conducting it; it being judged most convenient, both for the Editors and the Purchasers, to bring out each Tract in a separate number, after the manner of a periodical work; the Editors not pledging themselves, however, to any stated times of publication, but purposing to furnish in the course of every year such a number of Tracts (whether greater or less as to size and price) as may form one handsome octavo volume.
In the selection of these Tracts, the greatest care will be taken to admit none but such as are of the soundest principles and the most irrefragable in argument: and although it can hardly be expected that, in a work of such a nature, the Editors should pledge themselves for the strict propriety of every sentiment or expression which it may contain, (especially as they con
ceive it to be requisite that whatever they publish should appear without mutilation,) yet they confidently trust, that the present volume will serve as a proof of their caution, that nothing but what may bear a rigid scrutiny in these respects shall come forth under their sanction. To the general utility and importance of their design, and also to the particular value of the pieces already published, several persons of high consideration in the Church, and of distinction among the Laity, have already borne testimony, by their patronage and encouragement. Thus supported, the Editors will proceed in their undertaking with increased alacrity; and having surmounted some obstacles incidental to the commencement of such a plan, they doubt not of being able to carry it on with such regularity and dispatch as will insure to the Work a continuance of the patronage by which it is already honoured, and give it a claim to still more extensive circulation.
Subscriptions for promoting this design (which will intitle the Subscribers to a copy of each Tract) will be received at Messrs. Rivingtons, in St. Paul's. Church-yard, London; where a List of the persons who have already subscribed may be seen, and to whom it is respectfully desired that all communications or inquiries concerning the design may be directed.