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rules and orders of the English Church, and put an end to the present separation. The mischiefs of division are so apparently great and dangerous at this juncture, that they will authorize any man to offer an argument in a rational and peaceable way, which may tend to put a stop to them. I have done what I could towards this in the present discourse: and therefore as I cannot doubt of your Grace’s favorable acceptance and approbation of it, so I will presume to hope it may

do some service to the Church and dissenters together, in promoting the great ends of unity and peace, which is the only thing aimed at therein by him, who is,

With all due observance,
Your Grace's most obedient Servant,

JOSEPH BINGHAM.

1706.

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THE PREFACE.

That which first put me upon compiling this work, and furnished me with the principal part of the materials for it, was the perusal of a book entitled, Synodicon in Gallia reformata, or, The Acts, Decrees, and Canons of the National Councils of the reformed Churches in France; published in two volumes in folio, Lond. 1692. by one Mr. John Quick, who styles himself a minister of the Gospel; that is, as he elsewhere owns himself to be, a dissenting minister among the presbyterians. I was the more inclined to make a curious search into these Synods, because the title page tells us, the whole was collected out of the original manuscript acts of those Synods ; being a work never before extant in any language; and that therein were contained many excellent expedients for preventing and healing Schisms in the Churches, and for re-uniting the dismembered body of divided protestants. I considered that there never was greater occasion for such expedients, than at this present juncture; and that if these Synods afforded any such expedients, they were likely to weigh as much with dissenters, especially those of the presbyterian party, as any other arguments : considering 1st. That they themselves have

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