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MOST REV. JAMES USSHER, D. D.
LORD ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH,
PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND.
The Editor feels considerable reluctance in publishing this volume of Sermons, as if it contained the genuine writings of Archbishop Ussher. Dr. Bernard, the Chaplain of the Archbishop, says, “If any sermon notes taken from him have been printed in his life-time, under his name, or shall be hereafter (which divers have of late attempted), the reader is to take notice, that it was against his mind, and that they are disowned by him, which as he endeavoured to his utmost to suppress, while he was living, so it was his fear to be injured in it after his death.”
However, as a very general feeling was expressed, that the works would not be complete without the sermons, the Editor has given up his own opinion, and published two series of them. The first series was published in 1660, by John Crabb, William Ball, and Thomas Lye, ministers of the Gospel, who state, “ they writ them from his mouth, and compared their copies together.” The second series of fifteen sermons was never published before, and is taken from a MS. in the Library of Balliol College, Oxford, to which the Editor had access through the
kindness of the Rev. Dr. Jenkyns, the Master of Balliol. This MS. contains thirty-six sermons, at least equal in merit to those already published, but only the first fifteen are given in this volume, as the Editor thinks that number will be fully sufficient to justify the fears expressed by the Archbishop for such unauthorized publications.