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IN the present edition of the Homilies, which is the fifth that has issued from the Clarendon press since the commencement of the nineteenth century, the text of the first part or book has been compared with four ancient editions, the various readings of which are exhibited at the bottom of pages, and are distinguished by the letters A. B. C. D. A. is the first edition of the first book. It was printed in quarto by Richard Grafton in the year 1547, and is dated on the last day of July in the first year of king Edward the sixth.


B. is the earliest edition in which the Homilies of the first book, being twelve in number, are divided into thirtytwo parts. It was printed in quarto by Grafton in the year 1549, and is dated in August of that year. The copies of both A. and B. employed in preparing the present edition, are preserved in the library of Corpus Christi College in this University.

C. is an edition in quarto, printed by Richard Jugge and John Cawood in the year 1562. Two or more editions appear to have been printed by the same printers in the same year; but the present editor has had no opportunity of comparing them, and of endeavouring to select the earliest. The copy actually used is preserved in the archiepiscopal library at Lambeth, and is bound up in the same volume with an edition of the second part, printed in 1563, which will be mentioned hereafter.

a One of these editions is in small octavo. There is a copy of it in the British Museum.

D. is an edition of both parts of the Homilies in folio (the earliest of that size which the editor has seen) printed by John Bill in the year 1623. The copy used belongs to the library of Christ Church b.

There are many other ancient editions both of the first part of the Homilies separately, and of the first and second united. They may be divided, as far as regards the first part, into four classes, which differ materially from each other in their readings. Although there is hardly any edition, which exactly agrees with those which preceded it, the present editor has not thought it necessary to collate more than the earliest edition of each class.

The editions of the second part of the Homilies may all be divided into two classes, and the copies used in preparing the text of the present edition are only two, marked A. and B.

A. is an edition in quarto, printed by Jugge and Cawood in 1563. It is justly observed by Stryped, that there are two or more editions of this date; and another writer suspects that there are foure. The present editor has seen and examined two. The collation now printed is taken from a copy in the library of Exeter Collegef. The other edition,

b This copy differs in some respects from one in the possession of the editor, in which the first twenty-four pages appear to have been reprinted with several inconsiderable alterations, one of the most remarkable of which is the strict rigour of the law instead of the full request of the law, p 28, 26. ed. 1822. [p. 28, line 23. of this edit ] The editor's copy seems to agree with a copy on large paper at Lambeth.

c It is proper to mention, that B. and C. were in the first instance examined only in those places, in which A. and D. differ. Since the first book was printed off, however, B. has been collated throughout, and some additional various readings of small importance have been collected *.

d. Life of Parker, p. 128.

e Bennet, Essay on the thirty-nine Articles of Religion, 1715. p. 245. "There are in St. John's college library, in Cambridge, two copies of the second tome of Homilies, bearing date

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* [In the edition of 1832 these various readings were placed in an Appendix; but in the present edition of 1832 they are incorporated in the notes.]

of which there is a copy at Lambeth, is more correctly printed, exhibits a somewhat different text, and more frequently agrees with the subsequent editions. This last circumstance induced the editor to suspect at first, that the latter edition is more recent than the former. But farther consideration has in some degree weakened this suspicions. He now regrets, that he did not either give the readings of both copies, or of the Lambeth copy alone.

The Homily" against Disobedience and wilful Rebellion" does not occur in any edition of the Homilies printed before 1571. But there exists a separate edition of it, printed in quarto by Jugge and Cawood, which is probably somewhat earlier than the edition of the entire second book printed in that year. Copies of that separate edition are preserved at Lambeth and in the British Museum. They consist of ten signatures of four leaves each, and there is no appearance of a title-page in either of them. The copy at Lambeth has been collated for this edition, and the various readings of it are marked A. as being the first edition of the homily which it contains.

B. is the edition of 1623, already distinguished among the editions of the first book by the letter D.

In exhibiting the various readings extracted from the several editions above mentioned, the modern system of orthography has commonly been followed. In a few particular cases only, for reasons which will be obvious in each case to a reader of sagacity, the ancient spelling of the various readings has been preserved. To have preserved it throughout, would have exceedingly aggravated the labour of the editor and the printer, without conferring any corresponding benefit on the reader.

With the exception of orthographical variations, hardly any difference of reading has been deemed too inconsiderable

g P. 376,24. [370, 13.]" In that he healed men with his only word." This is the true reading, in which the Lambeth copy agrees with the great majority of the editions. But the copy in the library of Exeter college reads with his

holy word. If holy was the original reading, only is certainly a very ingenious alteration. Whereas, if only was the original reading, holy is an error of the press exceedingly likely to be committed.

to be noticed. The variations of among and amongst, Jesu and Jesus, toward and towards, with many others of as little importance, might perhaps have been entirely omitted without inconvenience. But the bulk of the volume is very little increased by the admission of such variations, and there are many readers, to whom it is more satisfactory to be permitted to exercise their own judgment in weighing the importance of various readings, than to be compelled to acquiesce in the decision of an editor.

An edition of the Homilies in folio with various readings was published in the year 1816, by a society in London called "The Prayer Book and Homily Society." The various readings of this edition are collected from not fewer than ten different editions, several of which, however, are entirely destitute of authority. The editor has not published the whole of his collation, but has merely selected such readings as appeared to him to be important.

The text of the present edition was formed for the most part on the principle of adhering to the last recension published by public authority, that is to say, to the edition of 1623, which probably was not only reprinted, as stated in the title-page, but also revised by authority of the crown, the alterations of the text being by far too numerous and important to have been made by the printer, or by an editor employed by him. As no later recension has ever been made by public authority, the edition of 1623 has some claim to be considered as the standard text of the Homilies, and to be compared with the Bible of 1611, and the Book of Common Prayer of 1662.

Except in a very small number of instancesh, the present editor has so far deferred to the authority of the edition of 1623, as to admit no reading, which is not found either in that edition, or one of those which preceded it. The text of the Homilies is now purged of a great number of unauthorized and erroneous readings, which had gradually crept

h One of the most remarkable of these instances is as follows. P. 16, 21. [16, 20.] "Let us be glad to receive this precious gift of our heavenly father." There seems to be no doubt

that to receive is the true reading. All the early editions, however, including that of 1623, read to revive. The editor has not found to receive in any edition prior to 1673.

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