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N.B.-J. J. Guillaume undertakes the Publication of New Works at his own risk, or on the Author taking a fixed number of Copies, or on the Author's own account ; in the best manner, and on very moderate terms.
The cause which led to the production of the following pages is easily stated. Having taken up the Collects as a lesson for his own class in the Sunday-school connected with the church of which he is curate, it occurred to the writer, whilst examining those Collects before meeting his class, that the labour of preparing separate questions for each Collect might be spared, and that one set of general questions might without difficulty be drawn out, by which each particular Collect could be analysed with sufficient minuteness, and the various points therein involved sufficiently examined and explained. This idea originated in the great similarity found in many of the Collects, and in the frequent repetition of the same words and phrases : and further, in the circumstance that, with a few exceptions only, the Collects all follow one general order of arrangement, and are composed on one and the same plan. Each Collect was found to divide itself almost naturally into three parts or divisions, which we may call, for distinction sake, first, the Invocation, or address; second, the Petition ; third, the Conclusion. Each of these divisions is, for the most part, clearly and distinctly marked, though they are severally longer in some Collects than in others, because of the greater number of statements therein put forth. But, such being the case, it seemed to him a possible matter to frame one single set of Questions, which would serve to bring out with sufficient minuteness the various points involved under each of these heads: the answers to such questions to vary, as a matter of course, when the Collects themselves vary, but the same questions to suffice for the examination of each and any particular Collect; with such omissions or additions as might be necessary to meet any special or peculiar case.
It also occurred to him that any lessons on the Collects, without a reference to the Seasons of the Christian Year which give their names to those Collects, would be so far imperfect
and incomplete; hence that some instruction on the subject of those Seasons ought always to be connected therewith : and then, further, that when engaged in an examination of the Collects, it would also be a fitting opportunity to bring before the scholars the important subject of prayer, and to impress upon their minds their duty with reference thereto.
Acting upon these ideas, the “Questions and Explanatory Observations” on these subjects, which form the first part of the little Work now offered to the public, and the “ Analysis" of each Collect, after the order referred to above, which forms the second part, were drawn out by the writer, though not without experiencing a greater difficulty therein than he had at first imagined; and whether with so much success as to render them worthy of general adoption may, perhaps, be matter of doubt. He trusts, however, that he can say, that the several questions under each topic are the result of a careful examination of the respective subjects, and an attentive consideration of the circumstances connected with each, and the object proposed to be accomplished.
The “Questions” are without answers for many reasons; the chief of which is that the scope of the work did not admit of it. It has not been so much the writer's object to frame a catechism on each particular Collect, as to point out to the teachers in our Sunday and Daily schools, and to others engaged in the education of the young,—such as the tutors and governesses in private seminaries and families, and those parents who are in the habit of gathering their children around them on the evenings of the Sabbath, to pour into their minds the precious deposit of Divine truth, what a vast amount of instructive and edifying matter is contained in these parts of our Church service; and what a profitable lesson an examination thereof, on the plan herein proposed, may easily be made ; and then, further, besides making known and recommending the adoption of the plan, to furnish such assistance as would enable them successfully to carry it out. Moreover, as the scope of the work did not admit of answers being given, so neither did the nature of the questions require it. For with respect to the questions on the Collects, each particular Collect will readily furnish its own; and with respect to the other topics, the answers may