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SCRIPTURAL AND PRIMITIVE POLITY,
PROVED FROM THE TESTIMONIES OF
SCRIPTURE; THE FATHERS; THE SCHOOLMEN; THE REFORMERS;
AND THE ENGLISH AND ORIENTAL CHURCHES.
THE ANTIQUITY OF PRESBYTERY;
INCLUDING AN ACCOUNT OF
THE ANCIENT CULDEES, AND OF ST. PATRICK.
BY THOMAS SMYTH,
AUTHOR OF LECTURES ON THE APOSTOLICAL SUCCE8810N, ECCLESIASTICAL
REPUBLICANISM, ECCLESIASTICAL CATECHISM, ETO.
Show them the form of the house and the fashion thereof, and the going out thereof, and the
BOSTON, CROCKER AND BREWSTER; NEW YORK, ROBERT CARTER, JONATHAN LEAVITT,
LONDON, WILEY AND PUTNAM.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-Three, by
CROCKER & BREWSTER,
8. N. DICKINSON, PRINTER,
No. 52 Washington Street.
As a sufficient demand has been made upon the patience of the reader, in the body of this work, it will not be increased by any lengthened preface. All that will be done, therefore, will be to offer a few words of explanation.
As to the necessity for the work, nothing need be said. This is now universally admitted. A renewed and thorough discussion of the great principles involved in the exclusive assumptions of prelacy, is forced upon us by the open and repeated assaults made by this bold enemy, upon the rights and privileges of all other christian denominations. The conviction is therefore general, that this controversy must become the leading topic of the age. Manuals are needed, ecclesiastical catechisms are needed, tracts, sermons, and discourses are needed, and treatises, like the present, are also needed. The one does not supersede the other, nor render it the less necessary. Let every man, in his place, and according to his opportunity, come up to the help of the cause of truth, charity, purity, and liberty, against a power which is once more forging for us the chains of spiritual despotism and superstition.
The aim of this work is catholic, and not sectarian. The author appears as the advocate, not of a party, but of all non-episcopal denominations. He includes under the term presbytery, those generic principles which are common to Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Reformed Dutch, Lutherans, Baptists, and Methodists. In some points he will be found