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An attempt has been made in the following pages, to divest topographical and architectural descriptions of technicalities ; and, by the introduction of critical remarks on the buildings, biographical notices of eminent individuals connected with them, and by notes, illustrative of the manners and position of our ancestors, to render the work as interesting to the general reader, as was consistent with its express purpose, -that of presenting a faithful account of the Churches in the city of London.
We have, perhaps, exposed ourselves to the remark, that we have sometimes departed in a degree from the received antiquarian maxim, "prodesse quam delectare," —that we have sought to please, as well as to instruct; but it is hoped, that the motive which influenced the departure, (namely, the desire of inducing attention to the subject on the part of a large class of readers who, otherwise, might not have regarded it,) will be deemed sufficient, on reflection, even by the most scrupulous antiquary. Apart too, from this, we have endeavoured, by connecting each building with various remarkable events and persons, to render the churches store-houses of pleasant memories, (if we may so speak) and to invest them with an interest in the minds of their frequenters, distinct from, although connected with, their sacred character.
The present work, simply embracing as it does, the ecclesiastical edifices within the walls of the City, may perhaps be followed at some future time, by a like illustration of the churches of Westminster, Southwark, and the suburbs; so as ultimately to form a history of all the churches in this great, and still increasing metropolis. When this will be done, depends in some degree on the amount of patronage which the public may be pleased to grant to the portion already published.
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.