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A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, BY ISAAC WALTON.
A Dew Cdition, in Three Columes.
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM BAYNES AND SON,
KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY
BY THE GRACE OF GOD, KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE,
AND IRELAND, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, &c.
MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, ALTHOUGH I know how little leisure great kings have to read large books, or indeed any, save only God's (the study, belief, and obedience of which are precisely commanded, even to kings (Deut. xvii. 18, 19), and from which, whatever wholly diverts them, will hazard to damn them; there being no affairs of so great importance, as their serving God, and saving their own souls; nor any precepts so wise, just, holy, and safe, as those of the Divine oracles; nor any empire so glorious, as that by which kings, being subject to God's law, bave dominion over themselves, and so best deserve and exercise it over their subjects):
Yet having lived to see the wonderful and happy restoration of your Majesty to your rightful kingdomsand of this reformed church to its just rights, primitive order, and pristine constitution, by your Majesty's prudent care and unparalleled bounty, I know not what to present more worthy of your Majesty's acceptance and my duty, than these elaborate and seasonable works of the famous and prudent Mr. Richard Hooker, now augmented, and I hope completed, with the three last books, so much desired, and so long concealed.
The publishing of which volume so entire, and thus presenting it to your Majesty, seem to be a blessing and honour reserved by God's providence, to add a farther lustre to your Majesty's glorious name, and happy reign, whose transcendant favour, justice, merit, and munificence, to the long-afflicted church of England, is a subject no less worthy of admiration than gratitude to all posterity. And of all things (next God's grace) not to be abused or turned into wantonness by any of your Majesty's clergy, who are highly obliged, beyond all other subjects, to piety, loyalty, and industry.
I shall need nothing more to ingratiate this incomparable piece to your Majesty's acceptance, and all the English world's, than those high commendations it bath ever had, as from all prudent, VOL, I,