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LONDON : JBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.

PREFACE

TO THE

SECOND EDITION.

THOUGH the subjects which the following treatise embraces have been, in all ages, fruitful in controversy, and are so even at the present season, I have too strong a conviction of the dangerous tendency of religious disputes to write with any controversial object in view. I adhere to no party, except that which sincere Christians, with all their differences, compose; and appeal to no authority, except that which all profess to acknowledge. Systems, schemes, and hypotheses, all bred of heat in the warm region of controversy,

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will, like meteors in a troubled sky, each have its turn to blaze and pass away. the Bible is eternal like the sun, the neverfailing source of light and life."*

pass away. But

I am well aware that I have been led to treat of some questions, upon which it becomes us to inquire humbly, rather than to decide positively: neither is it probable that I should have ventured to enter upon them at all, had not my attention been forcibly directed, by accidental circumstances, towards that high tone of Calvinistic preaching, which has recently ended in a partial secession from our Established Church, with whose tenets it was justly felt to be incompatible. I was thus induced to re-examine, with as much diligence and sincerity as I was able, the authorities and example on which alone such a practice ought to be grounded :

Warburton, Div. Leg.

and, in the result, to lay before my brethren in the ministry an important subject of consideration in the light in which it forcibly appeared to my own mind. This I have attempted with a complete freedom from all party designs. Practical utility was the object on which I set out, and which I have studied to keep in constant view; and I shall think myself amply repaid if I shall become the instrument of bringing any reader to consider more closely the example of the Apostles, the doctrines they insist upon, and their mode of enforcing them, so as to tend eventually to the greater edification of a single congregation.

Eron, Feb. 20, 1817.

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