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country; and that new books, though containing nothing fresh upon the fubjects of which they treat, will be read; whilft old ones, more fraught with information, lie ufseless on the shelf.
The Postscripts fubjoined to the Discourses must fpeak for themselves; because they were written for the purpose to which they are applied.
Upon the subject of Establishments I have nothing to unfay. Upon this fubject I have written as I have been always taught to think. An uniformity of fentiment on great and momentous fubjects constitutes a criterion, by which the thinking honeft man will ever be distinguished. The oppofite infirmity (if it may be called by fo foft a name) will, I trust, never attach itself to my character. From the reader who differs from me in opinion, I have only, therefore, to crave that candour which, I truft, I fhall on all occafions be ready to return.
"Errare poffum, litigiofus effe non volo.'
To write upon ecclefiaftical fubjects without cenfure, is what no author muft expect. The chief fource, therefore, from which his fatisfaction must be derived, will be the fincerity of his intention. To promote in any degree the honour of God by preferving the unity of the church, is an object which
every minifter of that church ought to have at heart. With this view I have placed myself at the door of the temple with my torch; in the full confidence, that whoever shall be induced to enter in, will abide there for ever.
But though I am too well acquainted with mankind to expect that, after what has been heretofore written on the fubject of church communion, any thing now faid upon it will produce effect on those in whofe minds judgment in this matter has been already paffed; yet, if I may prove the inftrument of confirming one wavering member of the church in a rational attachment to it, I fhall not think my time to have been wholly thrown away. Should it, however, be the will of that Divine Mafter, in whofe service I feel myself engaged, that I fucceed not even thus far; there is one confolation remaining, which I shall still enjoy in common with all those of my brethren, who have exerted themselves in a fimilar cause; that so far at least as this fubject is concerned,
LIBERAVI ANIMAM MEAM.
HE writer who feeks not popularity, must not expect to be popular; whilst he whose object is truth, will be fatisfied with the conviction, that the pofitions laid down by him are capable of being fubftantiated by their proper proofs. Should it be his misfortune to be writing to a world too much en gaged with itself, or too indifferent to the subject he is handling, to give it due attention, he will confider himself as one born out of due time; and that his words are not true, only because they are not seasonable; a confideration, which, to a man who has learned that the truth of GOD is of more value than the whole world, cannot, in the present day, be fo much a fubject for furprise, as it is for regret.
An endeavour to roufe Chriftians from an appa. rent apathy to a due fenfe of the tremendous danger attendant on that unfettlement of principles, and un
fettlement of inftitutions, which characterise the prefent revolutionary age; and to guard against the desertion of those old and tried paths, by which, under GOD, this country has been conducted to the acmé of national pre-eminence; by oppofing a barrier to thofe licentious opinions, and irregular practices, which, if not counteracted, must terminate in the deftruction of our excellent conftitution; and by expofing the fallacy of that specious reasoning on Church fubjects in particular, by which uninformed minds are continually drawn aftray from the established road of truth into the bye-paths of error and schism; is an endeavour, for my engagement in which, as a minister of the Church of England, I have no apology to offer. At the fame time, when I confider the vitiated taste of a faftidious public, which causes the generality of readers to pay more attention to polished periods than to the matter they contain, and, from an infatiable thirst after new things, to neglect the laying in that fundamental information neceffary to qualify them to diftinguifh the chaff from the wheat in any fubject of importance; I certainly feel it neceffary to claim indulgence for a work, which, rejecting all meretricious ornaments unfuited to its dignity, professes only to deliver thofe plain words of truth and fobernefs, which are beft calculated for general edification. Whilft to every one ferioufly attending to the fubjects contained in the following pages, (and to no other we write) it must, it is pre