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TO THE HIGH AND MIGHTY MONARCH,
BY THE GRACE OF GOD KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND
IRELAND, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH.
Most GRACIOUS AND DREAD SOVEREIGN :
Nothing can so much concern a man to seek for as lite eternal. The only means to find this eternal life is the knowledge of God. There is no means to know God to purpose but by his Word. This word, though plain and clear in the main truths, yet wants not some difficulties in other expressions. The explication of these difficulties is, for a great part, the occasion and matter of our sermons, lectures, commentaries; every man holding it both an high honour and an happy service to be God's trucheman to the world. The clearest and shortest way of explication is by paraphrase. Many learned interpreters, both of our church and the Roman, have undertaken this task by parcels; the use and bencfit whereof is, and should no less be, universal.
My meanness hath therefore boldly endeavoured this great work; which, as I durst not undergo without the aid of the best commenters both ancient and modern, so I do in all humility subject it to the grave and holy judgment of this renowned church. It is so far from my thoughts, peremptorily to prescribe senses unto any, as that I am ready upon better information to amend my own errors: only my desire and ambition is, to give some light to weaker apprehensions; wherein I hope to do a scivice not utterly unbeseeming your Majesty's gracious patronage, and unspeakably beneficial to many thousands of souls, who shall bless God for the least glimpses of illumination in these Divine Oracles.
The work, such as it is, I most humbly cast down, with myself, at your Majesty's foct; for who but God's vicegerent upon earth