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CHE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. MARY, AT LINCOLN,
VICAR OF OWSTON ; OFFICIAL OF THE ARCHDEACON; RURAL DEAN OF THE
DEANERY OF AXHOLME.
PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.
AND WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL.
In presenting this Sermon to the Reverend the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Stow, at whose request it is published, the Author most respectfully solicits them to bear in mind that it is only an humble attempt to call their attention to the office of Rural Dean, which has lately been revived in this diocese. He has been induced to illustrate the subject by a few notes and extracts, taken from the Horæ Decanicæ Rurales of Mr. Dansey -a work of the most extensive research, and which has left the ecclesiastical antiquarian almost nothing to wish for concerning the office of Rural Dean. He has done so at the suggestion of the Venerable the Archdeacon of Stow, and several of his brother Rural Deans, who wish that the
nature and constitution of the office should be clearly understood by the Clergy; and under the notion that Mr. Dansey's valuable work is not likely to be found in general circulation.
“Let all things be done decently and in order."-1 Cor. xiv. 40.
WHENEVER we turn our attention to the works of the Creator, “sought out of all them who have pleasure therein,” we must perceive that “God," as the Apostle expresses it in this chapter, “is not the author of confusion,” but that, on the contrary, there exists through the whole scale of creation one vast and complete system of order; which could only proceed from the Supreme Being himself, because he had no superior to direct him. To acquire a knowledge of the laws by which this system of order is maintained, both in the natural and moral world, their complex arrangements, their various modes of operation, the effects which flow from them, and the causes by which those effects are produced, is the subject matter of all human learning; and, therefore, we hold it as a most certain truth, that all knowledge carried to its proper extent, must end in the knowledge of God. It was the serious conviction of this most important