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HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND
JAMES YORK, D. D.
LORD BISHOP OF ELY.
WHEN, five years ago, an important station in the University of Cambridge awaited your Lordship's disposal, you were pleased to offer it to me. The circumstances under which this offer was made, demand a public acknowledgement. I had never seen your Lordship; I possessed no connexion which could possibly recommend me to your favour; I was known to you only by my endeavours, in common with many others, to discharge my duty as a tutor in the University; and by some very imperfect, but certainly well-intended, and, as you thought, useful publications since. In an age by no means wanting in examples of honourable patronage, although this deserve not to be mentioned in respect of the object of your Lordship's choice, it is inferior to none in the purity and disinterestedness of the motives which suggested it.
How the following work may be received, I pretend not to foretell. My first prayer concerning it is, that it may do good to any my second hope, that it may assist, what it hath always been my earnest wish to promote, the religious part of an academical education.
If in this latter view it might seem, in any degree, to excuse your Lordship's judgement of its author, I shall be gratified by the reflection, that, to a kindness flowing from public principles, I have made the best public return in my power.
In the mean time, and in every event, I rejoice in the opportunity here afforded me, of testifying the sense I entertain of your Lordship's conduct, and of a notice which I regard as the most flattering distinction of my life.
I am, MY LORD,
With sentiments of gratitude and respect,
Your Lordship's faithful
And most obliged servant,
That it was, in the main, the Story which we have now, proved