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At the same time, it must be admitted to be a point of the first importance, that all prayer should be an act—not of the lips only, but of the understanding and the heart: and, where this object has been neglected in early years, it is the more necessary, that attention should be powerfully recalled to it.
The hope of contributing, in some degree, to this desirable end, gave rise to the following Lectures: in which it is proposed to offer such explanations of the Morning, Evening, and Communion Services, as may enable every attentive supplicant to join in them with a juster apprehension of their design and value.
The elucidation of whatever is excellent in itself leads, of course, to some display of its excellence; which, indeed, on the present occasion, the author considered as no small part of his duty: since the case
evidently requires, not only, that the eyes of the ignorant or negligent Christian should be opened to see the advantages which he is throwing away; but his heart interested to obtain and apply them.
In explaining the Articles of belief contained in the Liturgy, he may possibly be thought to have occasionally overstepped the limits of his immediate province, and to have become the advocate, as well as the expounder of its doctrines. But, when the difficulty of separating these two offices is candidly considered (especially, at a time when so many open as well as insidious attacks are made, not merely upon the outworks, but upon the very centre and citadel of our Christian faith) he trusts it will be allowed, that he has only entered upon the vindication of the Church, where he could not consistently shrink from it.
He will, at least, assure those, who may seek instruction from his labours, that it has been far from his intention to lead them into the thorny paths of controversy : having no other design, so far as doctrine is concerned, than to give them a clear view of those essential points of faith, on which their practice must be founded.