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every minister 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
But though I am too well acquainted with mankind to expect that, after what has been heretofore written on the subject of church communion, any thing now said upon it will produce effect on those in whose minds judgment in this matter has been already passed; yet, if I may prove the instrument of confirming one wavering member of the church in a rational attachment to it, I shall not think my
time to have been wholly thrown away. Should it, however, be the will of that Divine Master, in whose service I feel myself engaged, that I succeed not even thus far; there is one consolation remaining, which I shall still enjoy in common with all those of my brethren, who have exerted themselves in a similar çayfe ; that so far at least as this subject is concerned,
LIBERAVI ANIMAM MEAM.
PREFACE TO THE READER.
expect to be popular; whilst he whole object is truth, will be satisfied with the conviction, that the positions laid down by him are capable of being substantiated 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 consider himself as one born out of due time; and that his words are not true, only because they are not seasonable ; —a consideration, 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 so much a subject for surprise, as it is for regret.
An endeavour to rouse Christians from an appa. rent apathy to a due sense of the tremendous danger attendant on that unsettlement of principles, and un
fettlement of institutions, which characterise the present 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 opposing a barrier to those licentious opinions, and irregular practices, which, if not counteracted, must terminate in the destruction of our excellent constitution; and by exposing the fallacy of that specious reasoning on Church fubjects in particular, by which uninformed minds are continually drawn astray from the established road of truth into the bye-paths of erior 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 same time, when I consider the viti'ated taste of a fastidious public, which causes the generality of readers to pay more attention to polished periods than to the matter they contain, and, from an insatiable thirst after new things, to neglect the laying in that fundamental information neceffary to qualify them to distinguifh the chaff from the wheat in any subject of importance; I certainly feel ît necessary to claim indulgence for a work, which, rejećting all meretricious ornaments unsuited to its dignity, professes only to deliver those plain words of truth and foberness, which are best calculated for general edification. Whilst to every one seriously attending to the subjects contained in the following pages, (and to no other we write) it must, it is pre
fumed, evidently appear, that the opinion of the world can constitute no standard, by which the judgment of any reader of them ought to be determined.
The kingdom of Christ, confeffedly, is not of this world: it was established with the intent, that this world fhould be conformed to 'it; not that this kingdom should, from time to time, be made conformable to the fluctuating opinions of a capricious world. As this kingdom then, according to the account given of it in Scripture, is to endure to the end of time; it is to be expected, that the government of it fhould correspond with its nature. no less than with the character of the faith it was intended to preferve, that of being “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.”
That such is the cafe, (we have authority for alserting) no honest enquirer, properly qualified, can entertain a doubt. “ It is evident (fays our Church, in the preface to her Confecration Service) unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture, and ancient authors, that from the Apostles” time there have been these orders of ministers in CHRIST's Church Bithops, Priests, and Deacons. And, therefore, to the intent that these orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed, in the Church of England, no'man shall be accounted, or taken to be, a lawful Bishop, Prieft, or Deacon in the Church of England, or fuffered to execute any of the faid functions, except he be called, tried, examined, and ad