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the best Method of obtaining Pardon of their Sins, and quieting their Consciences.
I have long thought a Design of this Nature might be serviceable to the Interest of Religion, and might contribute Something towards reviving the Piety and Devotion of the Primitive Times; to which I wish we were as conformable in our Practices, as I am well satisfied we are in our Doctrines. It is for this Reason I have ventured to make this Essay, not knowing how better to employ that Leisure and Command of Time which the good Providence of God has entrusted me with, than by consecrating it to this Service; depending upon the same good Provi dence that suggested the Thought, to enable and support me in the Execution of it. And I hope a Layman may be allowed at least to express his Desire to see Religion flourish, when so many in the same Rank make bold Attempts, in those vile and wicked Pamphlets that daily abound among us, to undermine the Christian Priesthood, and to ridicule the Mysteries of our Redemption: The mischievous Consequences whereof the State, as well as the Church, may feel, if not timely prevented.
I am not much concerned for those just Censures the World may fix upon the Meanness of this Performance; the Design of it will, with good
People, atone for many Imperfections: Besides, a Man of moderate Attainments may be serviceable to those that have lesser Degrees of Knowledge, as also, to such who, though they may have Capacity, yet have not Leisure nicely to enquire into those Matters. And provided I can but in the least. Manner promote a Sense of Religion among those that want it, or contribute to the Increase of it where it is already entertained, I shall be much better pleased than to deserve the Praises of the most accomplished Critic.
Upon this Account I have chose to throw the whole Subject of these Papers into a catechetical Form: hoping thereby they may become more universally instructive; for many can judge of the Force of an Answer who are very much puzzled to follow Reason through a Chain of Consequences.
And if there be any such Readers as shall be prevailed upon by my weak Endeavours to become more careful and solicitous about the one Thing necessary; and shall be persuaded or enabled to improve the Holy Seasons of the Church to the Advantage of their Souls; let God's holy Name have the Glory, who was pleased to bless the meanest Instrument in so great a Work. Let me only beg the Favour of their Prayers, that when, upon such Occasions, they prostrate themselves at the Throne of Grace, and
proach the holy Altars of God, they would, in the Fervour of their Devotions, offer up a Petition for the unworthy Author; that among all the Changes and Chances of this mortal Life, his Heart may surely there be fixed where true Joys are to be found; and that while he is solicitous about the Salvation of others, he may not fall short in securing his own.
All Saints, 1703.
RULES TO KNOW WHEN THE MOVEABLE
EASTER-Day, on which the Rest depend, is always the first Sunday after the first full Moon which happens next after the One and Twentieth day of March. And if the Full Moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday after.
Advent Sunday is always the nearest Sunday to the Feast of St. Andrew, whether before or after.
A TABLE OF ALL THE FEASTS THAT ARE
TO BE OBSERVED IN THE CHURCH OF
ALL SUNDAYS in the Year.
The Days of the Feast of
The Circumcision of our Lord JESUS CHRIST.
The Conversion of St. PAUL.
The Purification of the Blessed Virgin.
St. MATTHIAS the Apostle.
The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin.
St. PHILIP and St. JACOB the Apostles.
The Nativity of St. JOHN BAPTIST.
St. JAMES the Apostle.
St. BARTHOLOMEW the Apostle.
St. SIMON and St. JUDE the Apostles.
St. ANDREW the Apostle.
Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week.