THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD
(by divine permission)
I most humbly hope your lordship will not expect an elaborate apology for my presuming to lay the following sheets at your lordship's feet, since the underwritten reason (as well as many others) seems naturally to require that duty from me.
When (some few years ago) I waited on your lordship with a rude sketch of a design I had then in view, your lordship was pleased not only to point out to me the inconveniencies, as well as needlessness, of pursuing such a work, but also to mark out and encourage me to undertake what is hereby most humbly submitted to your lordship's censure. For whose patronage can this work so justly claim as your lordship's, who so properly may be reckoned the father of it?
Your lordship is not unacquainted with the several steps that have been taken in the prosecution of it, nor of the several materials which have been by many hands so generously communicated to me ; and as to my own part of the work, I assure your lordship I aim at no higher a character than that of a faithful transcriber.