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The character of Bishop Beveridge is too well known, and his works too well appreciated, to render any lengthened introduction to a new edition necessary.
A life spent as his was, partly in the deep and laborious study of the early records of the Church, and partly in the active but unobtrusive duties of a parish priest, affords but few materials for a striking memoir, nor does it seem needful to swell the bulk of these volumes by extraneous prefatory matter. The Sermons speak for themselves, nor would any analysis give an adequate idea of the more learned and elaborate works.
Born in the year 1638, the circumstances of Beveridge's early years would either involve him in the confusion and disputes of those troubled times, or they would throw him, as in fact they did, for direction, and guidance, and comfort, amidst those confusions and disputes, on the earlier and better ages of the Church, and on the study of Ecclesiastical Antiquity, yet ever with a view to the elucidation of fundamental truth, and the promotion of practical piety.