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A Discourse of the Pastoral Care
By Gilbert Burnet
Bishop of Salisbury

First edition London, 1692; third edition London, 1712.

Epistle Dedicatory

To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.

May it please Your Majesty,

The Title of Defender of the Faith, is so inherent in the Royal Dignity, and so essential a part of its security as well as of its glory, that there was no need of Papal Bulls to add it to the Crown that Your MAJESTY now wears: You hold it by a much better Tenure, as well as by a more ancient Possession. Nor can one reflect on the Pope's giving it to King Henry the VIIIth, without remembering what is said of Caiaphas, that being High Priest that year, he Prophesied. For since that time, the true Faith hath been so eminently Defended by our Princes, and that of both Sexes, we having had our Pulcherias as well as our Constantines and our Theodoses, that this Church has been all along the chief strength and honour of the Reformation, as well as the main Object of the envy and spite of those of the Roman Communion.

But though Your MAJESTY'S Royal Ancestors have done so much for us, there remains yet a great deal to be done for the completing of our Reformation, especially as to the Lives and Manners of men. This will most effectually be done by obliging the Clergy to be more exemplary in their Lives, and more diligent and faithful in the discharge of their Pastoral Duty. And this Work seems to be reserved for Your MAJESTIES, and designed to be the Felicity and Glory of Your Reign. To serve God by promoting this Great and Glorious Design, which is so truly worthy of Your MAJESTY'S best care and endeavours, I have purposely written this Treatise, which I do with all humility Dedicate and present to Your Sacred MAJESTY.

May that God who is the King of kings, and hath bless'd us with Two such Excellent Princes, preserve You Both long to us, and make You as happy in us, as we are in You. May. You Reign over us till You have accomplished all those Great Designs for which God hath raised You up, and with which He hath filled Your Hearts: And may this Church be made by Your means the Perfection of Beauty, and the Joy of the whole Earth.

These are the daily and most fervent Prayers of,

May it please Your MAJESTY,

Your MAJESTY'S Most Loyal, most Humble, and most Obedient Subject and Chaplain,


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