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PRE FAC E.

T HOUGH the following work, as a System of

Divinity, has the appearance of being new, yet.certainly it proposes no new foundation: for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ:-If we speak not according to this word (Christ) it is because there is no light in us;--but if we are led by this light, Jesus Christ, the fame yesterday, to-day and for ever, much darkness is di'covered in our most approved modern systems; and it will appear that our master-builders, if any may be called such besides the Prophets and Apostles, have, in a great measure, builded aside from the foundation, and must theres fore suffer loss.

It is certain that the work not framed accord, ing to the true and only foundation, though the study and labour of ages will not profit men ; and the torch of divine revelation cannot be too soon applied to the vast pile which shall set it all on flame; and though the hand or instrument to do this must expect to be treated by many as a vile incendiary, yet he will deserve well of the world of mankind; for let the hay, wood and stubble be consumed, and the light of the divine foundation, and the gold, filver and precious

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fones, builded thereon, will break forth as the lightning, and shine through the earth.

Many Systems of Divinity, though called Christian, bear no character of truth-they do not respect the foundation in one essential point of view. With these we have no concern they are not objects of our attention--God wil judge them and their anthors, and blot their name and remembrance from the city of God: But there are others which do, in fome essential view, regard the gloria foundation, and though greatly faulty, in n t observing its full measure, yet deserve our most serious attention-we are assured they will not wholly fail, though tried by fire ; and their authors will be saved in the day of the Lord.

Among these, the works founded on the basis of pure benevolence, and unfolding in what are called the Doctrines of Grace, have the preference A line of truth has been drawn frori this divine dodrine, with the demonstration of the {pirit, for which, in the American world, we have been great"Zy indebted to the labours of President Edwards and Doctor Hopkins. But the works of these

divines, the latter especially*, being brought forward as whole syfems, too apparently miftake one character of the divine principie for the whole body of light; consequently the proposed foundation, not being sufficiently broad to support the whole fabrick, a great pait of it falls into a pile ;

# Preldent Edwards did not offer his works as a system, but by many they have been conlidered as fuch, and expressly as kasiog ae doctrise of benevolence for their foundation.

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