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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
tion, by the Rev. E. Tyrrell Green,-a fact which affords striking evidence of the feeling alluded to above, that the text-books at present in use are not altogether adequate. Mr. Green's work contains much illustrative matter from contemporary documents, and that by Dr. Maclear and Mr. Williams is excellent as a short textbook. My own work is on a somewhat larger scale, and may perhaps appear to be more ambitious, in aiming at completeness as a commentary upon the Articles; and I trust that it may be found that there is room for it as well as for these others. My object throughout has been to make the work correspond as closely as possible to the title. It is not in any way intended to be a complete system of theology. The subjects discussed. are strictly limited to those which are fairly suggested by the text of the Articles. Nor is it a history of doctrine. I have simply endeavoured to explain the teaching of the Articles, assuming a general knowledge of ecclesiastical history on the part of the reader, and only tracing out the history of doctrine where it seemed to be absolutely necessary in order to enable him to understand the meaning of the text of the Articles and the expressions used in it. My aim has always been to discover and elucidate the "plain, literal, and grammatical sense" of the document on which I have undertaken to comment. I can honestly say that I have striven to be perfectly fair, and to avoid the temptation to "read in" to the Articles meanings which I am not convinced to be really there. How far I have succeeded my readers must judge for themselves.
One possible criticism I should like to meet beforehand. It may perhaps be said that there is a lack of proportion in the treatment of the Articles, since far more space has been devoted to the first eight than to
the remaining thirty-one. My reply must be that the fault, if it be a fault, has been deliberately committed,— and for this reason. The first eight Articles practically re-state, in an enlarged form, the rule of faith as contained in the Church's Creed, and therefore stand on a different footing from the others. In some works on the Articles this seems to be regarded as a reason for devoting but little space to them, it being presumably taken for granted that the student will have previously mastered Pearson's great work, or some other treatise on the Creed. It has seemed to me wiser to adopt the opposite course, and to make the commentary upon them fuller than that on the remaining Articles, in order to emphasize their importance, and to give them their proper position. I trust, however, that the lack of proportion is not really so great as might at first sight appear. Many of the later Articles admit of very slight treatment, and I hope that it will be found that adequate attention has been paid to the really important ones among them, especially to those on the Church, the Sacraments, and the Ministry.
It only remains for me to express my thanks to those who have assisted me in the work, especially to the Rev. A. Robertson, D.D., Principal of Hatfield Hall, Durham, who has kindly looked through the proof sheets, and helped me by making many valuable suggestions.
THE VICARAGE, LEEDS,
December 10, 1896
E. C. S. G.
The Moral Law remains of Universal and Lasting Obligation