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PREFACE.

AFTER the happy expiration of those times which had reformed so many churches to the ground, and in which men used to express their honour to God, and their allegiance to their prince the same way, demolishing the palaces of the one, and the temples of the other; it is now our glory and felicity, that God has changed men’s tempers with the times, and made a spirit of building succeed a spirit of pulling down: by a miraculous revolution, reducing many from the head of a triumphant rebellion to their old condition of masons, smiths, and carpenters, that in this capacity they might repair what, as colonels and captains, they had ruined and defaced.

But still it is strange to see any ecclesiastical pile, not by ecclesiastical cost and influence rising above ground; especially in an age, in which men’s mouths are open against the church, but their hands shut towards it; an age in which, respecting the generality of men, we might as soon expect stones to be made bread, as to be made churches.

But the more epidemical and prevailing this evil is, the more honourable are those who stand and shine as exceptions from the common practice; and may such places, built for the divine worship, derive an honour and a blessing 174upon the head of the builders, as great and lasting, as the curse and infamy that never fails to rest upon the sacrilegious violators of them; and a greater, I am sure I need not, I cannot wish.

Now the foundation of what I shall discourse, upon the present subject and occasion, shall be laid in that place in

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