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TO

THE WRITINGS

OF THE

PRINCIPAL FATHERS

OF THE

CHRISTIAN CHURCH,

Who flourished during the first three Centuries :

IN

EIGHT SERMONS,

PREACHED), KEFORE.
THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD IN THE YEAR 1818 ;

At the Lecture founded by...
THE REV. JOHN:BAMPTON, M. A.

LATE CANON OF SALISBURY.

BY

THE REV. JOHN COLLINSON, M. A.

RECTOR OF GATESHEAD, DURHAM.

-Antiquam exquirite matrem."
“ Keep your hold: the Doctors and old Catholic Fathers, in the points
" I have spoken of, are yours.Bishop Jewel.

OXFORD
At the University Press for F. C. and J. RIVINGTON, St. Paul's Church
Yard, London. Sold also by J.PARKER, Oxford.

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DEDICATION

TO THE

HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND

SHUTE

LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM.

MT LORD, NEW YORK

THESE Sermons will derive weight in your Lordship's estimation, from their having been preached at a distinguished feat of learning and theology, before the Members of that University, to which your Lordship is attached by long connection, and by the dignity of an official trust. It is the object of these Discourses to promote true religion by a reference to the faitḥ and practice of primitive Christians; and the plan includes a defence of our established

Church, which is, I believe, identified with Christianity itself.

To a work of this kind I venture to folicit

the protection of my Diocesan, with a propriety, which will be obvious to all who consider, that the Bishop of Durham has defended the pure faith once delivered to the faints, by cogent argument, in opposition to superstitions, which are injurious to:the: temporal and eternal happiness of mankind; that he has exercised in his. peculiar: function a truly watchful and pastoral care, unbiafled by differences of opinion on subordinate points ;' and that through the course of a life, venerable from its extent in unimpaired vigour, and more venerable from its habits, he has continued to promote the religious and moral improvement of society, and the general diffusion of beneficial knowledge, by precept, by example, and by a munificence worthy of his high station.

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