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truly written by those whose names they bear; and that those writers lived so near the Apostolical times, that it cannot be doubted but that they do indeed represent to us the doctrine, government, and discipline of the Church, as they received it from the Apostles; the Apostles from Christ, and that blessed Spirit, who directed them, both in what they taught, and in what they ordained.
What that doctrine, government, and discipline is, I have particularly shewn in the eleventh chapter of
my Discourse. I shall only observe here, that it is so exactly agreeable to the present doctrine, government, and discipline of the Church of England by law established, that no one who allows of the one, can reasonably make any exceptions against the other. So that we must either say, that the immediate successors of the Apostles had departed from the institutions of those holy men from whom they received their instruction in the Gospel of Christ, and by whom they were converted to the faith of it: or, if that be too unreasonable to be supposed of such excellent persons, who not only lived in some of the highest stations of the Christian Church, but the most of them suffered martyrdom for the sake of it, we must then conclude, what is indeed the truth, that the Church of England, whereof we are members, is, both in its doctrine, government, discipline, and worship, truly Apostolical; and in all respects comes the nearest up to the primitive pattern of any Christian Church at this day in the world.
An Index to both Parts.
1. Had I designed the following Collection either for the benefit or perusal of the Learned World, I should have needed to say but very little by way of introduction to it: the Editors of the several treatises here put together having already observed so much 'upon each of them, that it would, I believe, be difficult to discover-I am sure would be very needless to trouble the reader with—any more.
2. But, as it would be ridiculous for me to pretend to have designed a Translation for those who are able, with much more profit and satisfaction, to go to the Originals ; so, being now to address myself to those especially who want that ability, I suppose it may not be amiss, before I lead them to the Discourses themselves, to give them some account both of the Authors of the several pieces I have here collected, and of the Tracts themselves, and of that Collection that is now the first time made of them in our own tongue. Though, as to the first of these, I shall say the less, by reason, of that excellent account that has been already given of the most of them by our pious and learned
Dr. Cave, whose Lives of the Apostles and Primitive Fathers, with his other admirable discourse on Primitive Christianity, I could heartily wish were in the hands of all the more judicious part of our English readers.
3. Nor may such an account, as I now propose to myself to give of the following pieces, be altogether useless to some even of the Learned themselves; who, wanting either the opportunity of collecting the several Authors necessary for such a search, or leisure to examine them, may not be unwilling to see that faithfully brought together, under one short and general view, which would have required some time and labour to have searched out, as it lay diffused in a multitude of Writers, out of which they must otherwise have gathered it.
CORINTHIANS. of the value which the Ancients put upon this Epistle--Of
St. Clement himself, who was the author of it-That it was the same Clement of whom St. Paul speaks, Phil. iv.3. -of his Conversion to Christianity - When he became Bishop of Rome, as also whether he suffered Martyrdom uncertain-Of the occasion of his writing this Epistle, and the two main parts of it-Of the time when it was written -That there is no reason to doubt but that the Epistle we now have was truly written by St. Clement- The objection of TenTZELIUS against it of no forceHow this Epistle was first published by Mr. Patrick Young; and translated by Mr. BURTON into English-of the present edition of it.
1. The first Tract which begins this Collection, and perhaps the most worthy too, is that admirable, or, as some of the Ancients have