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iv

TROY, February 22, 1844.

1

TO THE SESSION, TRUSTEES, AND OTHERS,

OF THE SECOND-STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, TROY: Christian Friends,-The discourses, referred to in your communication, are in the form of short notes, which were prepared from week to week during the course of their delivery. In yielding to your request, therefore, I cannot promise that you will be able, at all times, to recognize the exact language in which you heard them, nor precisely the same arrangement as to the matter. It may seem expedient, also, in preparing them for the press, to amplify the discussion on some points, as well as to make some addition to the list of authorities. The general course of the argument, however, shall remain the same.

It is known to you all, that any thing like fondness for controversy has been far from the tenor and spirit of my ministry among you. In the present case, there was a demand, on the part of yourselves and others, for a temperate discussion of the High Church doctrine of Apostolical succession, which it would have been wrong for me to resist. And nothing but a disposition to meet the wishes of those, who listened to the argument with so much patience and respectful attention, could have induced me to consent to its publication.

I remain yours,
With sincere respect and affection,

W. D. SNODGRASS.

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The foregoing correspondence will sufficiently account for the appearance of the following pages.

Things which are very absurd in themselves, are sometimes forced by circumstances into positions of great importance. This we believe to be true of the modern doctrine of Apostolical Succession. Nothing could save it from utter contempt, but the extent and respectability of the denomination of christians with which it stands associated. Enormous as its pretensions are, it gains currency from the stations and influence of those who appear on its side; and it will not die of itself. Like other errors, it must be brought to the tests of reason and scripture; and to subject it to the operation of these tests, the appropriate work of the pastors of the churches, who, in their respective places, are set for the defence of the Gospel.

These are the views which governed the author, in the preparation and delivery of the discourses which are contained in this volume. His aim was to exhibit an outline of the plain reasons which exist for rejecting the doctrine in question, not only as untrue, but as tending directly to the ejectment of a large proportion of the christian world from the inheritance of the people of God. Not a few, whose judgment he is bound to respect, have supposed that a wider circulation of the views presented might subserve the interests of the cause of truth. And, in compliance with their wishes, he submits these views to the candid consideration of the christian public.

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No TRACES OF A PRELATICAL Bishop in the Jewish high priest

hood-in Timothy—in Titus—nor in the Angels of the seven churches.-Phil. i. 1......

..143

DISCOURSE VI.

TESTIMONY OF THE Fathers—no prelatical bishops during the first two centuries-rise of prelacy.—Matt. xv. 9......

.175

DISCOURSE VII.

THE APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION BROUGHT TO THE TEST OF HISTORY,

cannot be traced-neither in the line of the Romish, nor of the Anglican church. Neh. vii. 64....

..211

DISCOURSE VIII.

THE TRUE SUCCESSION.—Matt. xxviii. 20......

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