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differing with members of each of these bodies, but most generally he hopes to be found agreeing with the liberalminded of them all. He would re-claim for all these parties the application, in a wide sense, of the term presbytery. He would thus hope to draw closer the bonds of christian truth, harmony, and affection, by which we are leagued together. This work he offers to them all, as a peace-offeringIrenicum -- and a challenge to greater union and coöperation against our common foes. Our differences are few, compared to our points of agreement. They are as nothing, when once contrasted with those walls of separation, by which prelatists and Romanists would exclude us from any

inheritance in Israel. The Philistines are upon us. They have vowed the destruction of our citadels. They build their hopes upon our disunion. Divided we fall, but united we are sure of victory. Shall we not, then, rally around the standard of our common principles, for the defence of our common rights, and

pour united forces upon our common enemies? If this work shall in any measure foster this spirit, and promote these ends, the labors of its author will be rewarded. It was, of course, necessary for him to speak as a presbyterian, in the strict meaning of that word, and in many cases to draw his illustrations from this denominational system, to which he is conscientiously attached, and to explain and defend it against misrepresentation. But, in the main arguments of the work, there will be nothing, he hopes, to

our

offend any.

The design of this work was to condense the substance of the innumerable treatises which have been written on the subject, and to arrange their various topics in a more complete and comprehensive order, so as to present them in as perfect, clear, and satisfactory a manner, as the limits of a single volume will permit. How far the author has succeeded, he leaves the reader to determine. He hopes that in the arrangement, in many of the arguments, in many of the topics introduced, and in the whole spirit and bearing of the work, there will be found sufficient originality to interest those who are most familiar with

the subject. No expense has been spared in collecting in London, and on the Continent, all that is valuable, and that was procurable, on this great controversy. Of the toil undergone for years past, in perusing, collating, and digesting these works, it is unnecessary to speak. The author does not profess, in every case, to have examined the works of the fathers and schoolmen, for himself. Many of them he has. But where he has not done so, he has been careful not to quote from them, without having abundant reason for believing that he might fully rely on the source of his information. This will be found indicated in connection with the quotations made. Since, however, he relies altogether, as a positive argument, upon the authority of the Bible, he has devoted to the scriptural argument the largest portion of the volume.

Every effort has been made to compress what was written within the briefest compass. About one half of what was prepared has, therefore, been omitted. It was found necessary, also, to leave out the chapters on the Republicanism, Liberality, Catholicity, the Security and Efficiency of Presbytery. Some of these topics will be found discussed in another and smaller volume, entitled Ecclesiastical Republicanism,' to which the reader is referred.

In conclusion, it is hoped that the manner in which the work is prepared will render it more acceptable to the reader, who is requested to unite with the author in the heartfelt prayer that He, whose cause is at stake, would make this, and every similar effort of his servants, effectual to the furtherance of His glory, in the promotion of peace, purity, and charity in his churches, and the overthrow of all error, bigotry, willworship, and superstition.

Charleston, S. C., 1843.

CONTENTS.

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