« السابقةمتابعة »
TO THE READER.
THE "HE following Discourses were originally de
signed for private circulation in a particular parish. Being written for that purpose, their accommodation to the existing state of that parish constituted of course the principal object in view. Should therefore some parts of the subject be more dilated, than may be thought neceffary for general information; or some circumstances noticed which might have been omitted; the candid reader will, it is hoped, make allowance for what on these accounts may be an unwelcome trespass upon his time. Thus much it proper to say in behalf of the Discourses before him.
As an excuse, if excuse be necessary, for the alteration of my plan in giving them to the public, I have to plead, that upon their revisal for the press, they were judged to convey fome information applicable to the general circumstances of Christians in this
country; and that new books, though containing nothing fresh upon the subjects of which they treat, will be read; whilst old ones, more fraught with information, lie useless on the shelf.
The Postscripts fubjoined to the Discourses must speak for themselves; because they were written for the purpose to which they are applied.
Upon the subject of Establishments I have nothing to unsay. Upon this subject I have written as I have been always taught to think. An uniformity of sentiment on great and momentous subjects constitutes a criterion, by which the thinking honest man will ever be distinguished. The opposite infirmity (if it may be called by so soft 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 trust, I shall on all occafions be ready to return.
“ Errare possum, litigiosus esse non volo.” To write upon ecclefiastical subjects without censure, is what no author must 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