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those Holy Scriptures which are read in, and on which our National Church is built.
If this Tract should produce a Profit, the whole clear Gain arising from the first Edition shall be religiously applied as the first fruits to Charity: And as it is to serve no private End, it is hoped that it will not be taken amiss, that one Copy hath been directed and forwarded to YOU ; with the Request, that if you approve of it, you will have the Goodness to bestow the Price (as part of the presumed Profit of the first Edition) upon the first Object of Charity which may present itself.
If it should live to a second Edition, the Publishers, Meff. RIVINGTONS, in whose Names it is entered at Stationers-Hall, have Directions to pay one Moiety of any Profit arising from the same, and of any subsequent Editions, to the Treasurers of the Charities for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Clergymeno
TO THE GREAT AND LEARNED
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF A
NUMBER OF Poor, LOYAL, UNLEARNED
THAT your Petitioners chiefly consist of
Farmers, Farmer's Servants, Mechanics and Labouring Men, who having in their youth been taught to read the Bible, and to go to the Public Worship of God, have ever considered themselves as Christians.
Petitioners are not all of the same fentiinents, some having been brought up by their parents to go to church, and others to go to meeting : And as they entertain a great respect for the memory of their religious parents, they have been hitherto cautious not to give up the distinctions esta
blished by them ; although from intercourse with each other, they find, that in matters which
appear of greatest moment, their ancestors were much of a mind; the ground of separation between them being (as they understand) chiefly concerning habits used in performing divine service-Whether the facrament should be received sitting or kneeling -Whether a form of prayer should be used or not-And whether baptism should be administered to children or grown persons.
That notwithstanding; your Petitioners being all agreed, that it is proper that the Bible should be read, and that Christians should live as Christians, in love, loyalty, and good neighbourhood, they have frequently (after service being ended on the Sabbath day) met in the evening, and have read the Bible, and in particular the New Testament, and have also done their best endeavour to make up any little differences, and to serve each other in every respect; they discovering hy the Bible, that it is their duty fo to do; and they have been particularly careful to keep and encourage respect for the King, and the whole Government, under whom
they live; the same being to their apprehenfion clearly enjoined in the New Testament, even at a time when it appears that the Governors of the world were Heathens, and some of them persecutors: And if so, they cannot but think, that not only respect and duty, but also a kind and grateful love, is due to the present King, who they understand to be a man of the same religion with themselves, and not in the least ashamed of being a CONSTANT WORSHIPPER OF GOD. Your Petitioners therefore unanimously say, “ May “ God Almighty bless him, through Jesus “ Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of « Lords.”
Petitioners used to look forward to the Sabbath day as a Holy day, and not so much fo on account of its being a day of cessation from labour, as a day of adoration of God, union at home, good neighbourhood, and love to each other: But they have lately endured the greatest misfortune, which renders them unhappy at the very times they formerly looked for happiness, and which takes its rise from certain ill-disposed persons endeavouring to undermine their attachment
both to their religion and their loyalty, and some of those who were formerly the most forward to every good work, have been gained over to their opinions, which are the direct reverse of their former profession; and instead of love and affection, good neighbourhood and charity, being, as heretofore, the inhabiters of their village, they are now frequently taken
up in disputes, anger, and contention ; so that there appears to have arisen a new religion, if it can be so called, among them.
THAT there subjects have not only been brought forward in conversation, but some of the books of their adversaries have been offered at a small price; particularly some tracts written by Dr. Priestley, a book called The Rights of Man, and fome other books recommended by a society called The Society for Constitutional Information.
That your Petitioners late friends are often talking about philofophic necesity, and materialism, which your Petitioners cannot comprehend; and they are in general of opinion, that the same is not material to them,