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with an idea that they belong only to a discussion in which he may not be personally concerned ; as part of a contest between the Ordained and the Selfcommissioned Teacher, between the Established and the Tolerated Minister ; let me bespeak his earnest attention, by reminding him, that this subject, however inadequately handled by me, is, in itself, one of very general interest, and of most extensive importance. For, to whichever of the parties they may be attributable, whether to the Members of our Church, or to those who forsake our Communion, the history of mankind too surely proves, that False Doctrines, and Extravagances in Religion, lead naturally to Vice and to Infidelity: and that Infidelity has ever reigned with the most baleful influence upon the human heart; and Vice has always raged under least restraint from Conscience and the Moral Sense; at whatever period the pure and rational Doctrines of Christianity have been sophisticated by the Bigot, or caricatured by the Enthusiast.



THE favorable reception of five impressions of this little work, and the flattering approbation of it expressed in the British Critic and the Antijacobin Review, as well as in the publications and private correspondence of some of the most able Defenders of the National Church, have encouraged the Author to venture upon a Sixth Edition in a less compressed, and therefore more expensive, form. At the same time he thinks it his duty to apprize the Purchasers of the last impression, that though it has been his practice to correct and enlarge the Notes as the preceding Editions have been passing through the Press, especially the third and fifth ; he has not since found occasion to add much new matter : and that the present Edition, therefore, has little claim to the advance in the price, but what arises from the improvement in type and paper.


May, 1817.




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