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REV. J. B. OWEN, M.A.
LATE MINISTER OF ST. JOHN'S, BEDFORD BOW, LONDON.

A New Edition.

LONDON:
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS,

THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE;
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.

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PREFACE.

CHEAP editions of standard works will most effectually compete with popular editions of such works as are dear at any price. A publisher who brings the sacred classics of the Church within reach of the million, consecrates his press as an altar of large philanthropy. He is a printing preacher, with the public and posterity for his congregation. With these impressions, I, for one, cordially welcome the present reprint of the highly-honoured volume of William Romaine.

With the exception of a few occasional sermons, and his edition of Calasio's Concordance, it is the author's only publication ; there are many voluminous contributors to the Christian Library, whose posthumous reputation would have rested more securely, had they lain more quietly in manuscript, and perspired less pro

fusely in sheets of type. The age of Romaine was the i blessed dawning of that evangelical revival in the

Church of England, when men had not only to “bear the heat and burthen of the day;" but to be content with little else than " souls for their hire,” and scorn, misrepresentation, and oppression for their warfare. A great crisis, by the grace of God, generates great contemporaries to work it. “There were giants in those days.” None but Titans could contend with.the popular tutelaries of the time; but they nobly reversed the issue in the Pagan fable, by becoming "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” “By honour and dishonour, through good report and evil report," they made way for the truth, God working with them and confirming their word. Romaine, however, wrought steadily as well as zealously. His mission was for the Church, and therefore in the Church, and hence, unlike his illustrious contemporaries, Whitfield and the Wesleys, he set up no separate community-nor attempted to purify the doctrine by the sacrifice of the discipline of the Church ; but rather laboured, by the grace of God, at the restoration of both to their primitive truth and order. Hence, at a juncture of his ministerial history when he held no better appointment than the precarious lectureship of St. Dunstan-in-theWest, nor possessed other means of subsistence than its wretched stipend of £18 a year; when the antipathy to his ministrations there was so bitter and offensive, that the churchwardens refused to open the churchdoors until the exact hour of his lecture, keeping his hearers standing till then in the street, and Romaine often read prayers and preached by the light of a single candle which he held in his hand ;-though, at such a trying crisis of his faith and affection for the Church, he was offered, through Whitfield, a church in Philadelphia, and £600 a year, he was too thorough a churchman to be tempted to desert her.

“ For loyalty is still the same,

Whether it win or lose the game ;
True as the dial to the sun,
Although it be not smiled upon."

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