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PRIEST TO THE TEMPLE;

OR THE

COUNTRY PARSON,

HIS CHARACTER,

AND

RULE OF HOLY LIFE.

BY

MR. GEORGE HERBERT.

B

1

THE AUTHOR TO THE READER.

BEING desirous, through the mercy of God, to please him, for whom I am, and live, and who giveth me my desires and performances; and considering with myself, that the way to please him is to feed my flock diligently and faithfully, since our Saviour hath made that the argument of a pastor's love; I have resolved to set down the form and character of a true pastor, that I may have a mark to aim at; which also I will set as high as I can, since he shoots higher that threatens the moon, than he that aims at a tree. Not that I think, if a man do not all which is here expressed, he presently sins, and displeases God; but that it is a good strife to go as far as we can in pleasing of him, who hath done so much for us.

The Lord prosper the intention to myself, and others, who may not despise my poor labours, but add to those points, which I have observed, until the book grow to a complete pastoral.

1632

GEORGE HERBERT.

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PREFACE

TO THE

CHRISTIAN READER;

CONSISTING OF SIX PARAGRAPHS.

N. 1. My design in this preface to this impression is, first, to own that which I made to the first, that came forth anno Domini 1652; and to bless God for giving me that portion of ingenuity, to imitate Ezra the scribe, Nehemiah the governor, and Daniel the prophet, by giving God the glory of his justice, in bringing upon us those evils which we then suffered; and that degree of courage, in that day, when violence was at the height, to tell the instruments of cruelty the immediate causes of those evils; that God had also rods in store for them; and that from the ruins of that church they had pulled down, an heavy stone would fall upon themselves, and bruise them.

N. 2. Secondly, to do a piece of right, an office of justice to the good man that was possessor of the manuscript of this book, and transmitted it freely to the stationer who first printed it; merely upon design to benefit the clergy, and in them the church of England. He was Mr. Edmund Duncon, rector of Fryarn-Barnet in the county of Middlesex, brother

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