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the language of an English clergyman; though the present sphere of his professional labours is without the territorial limits of the Anglican church. He has been induced to continue this method of communication, not merely as more convenient, but also from the respect which he naturally entertains for the establishment in Scotland; the reputation of whose ministers, for eloquence and talent, as well as piety, forms a pure and sacred source of honour to his native country.
In the first of the following dissertations on the subject of Church polity, he has stated as succinctly as that extensive subject would permit, the whole argument for Episcopacy, both from Scripture and antiquity. Without referring to individuals, in the present day, who have written against this important Apostolical institution, he has endeavoured to condense their objections, and to offer, (in a manner impossible to be thought personally offensive,) a satisfactory refutation.
Next to Church polity he considered forms of Divine worship to require discussion. On this topic he has confined himself at present to a general view of Liturgies. Another treatise in continuation, (for which he has already collected materials, and
which bears a particular reference to the Church of England liturgy,) may, he conceives, be more advantageously laid before the public at some future opportunity, after the doctrines have been vindicated, of which that liturgy must be regarded as an invaluable compendium.
As the chief weapon of assault in the hands of the Romanist is the assumed authority of his Church, the next subject introduced is Infallibility. Under this title the author has enumerated the various and insuperable difficulties which beset the Romish assailant in his assertion of that lofty claim: opportunity at the same time is taken of bringing forward and exposing other not less dangerous pretensions; and of pointing out, from the canons of the Church of England, a safe and Scriptural guide for the attainment of religious truth.
The last dissertation here published is on the doctrine of Mediation. The greater number of heretical opinions at the present day, and, indeed, at all times throughout Christendom have arisen from regarding in a partial and confined view the great principle of atonement; and from limiting attention to one only among the offices of Christ. As the office of Mediator includes them all, a dis
cussion of his Mediatorial character is calculated to repel on either side, the aggressions of our Socinian and Antinomian adversaries. Throughout the whole essay general expressions are systematically employed, and all allusion to those articles of belief respecting which the members of the Church have adopted different explanations, is carefully avoided.
Thus four subjects have been chosen for vindication in this volume. First, the form of Church polity in the English establishment; secondly, our received mode of Divine worship; thirdly, the rules for the attainment of sound doctrine; and fourthly, the leading doctrines themselves, which the observance of those rules has led the Church to adopt and promulgate.
Other topics in addition to those just specified might have been introduced; but the author, besides a natural dread, at his first appearance before the public, of abusing unreasonably the patience of his readers, feels desirous for the present to confine himself to general and introductory branches of ecclesiastical discipline. On one subject, however, connected with establishments, he feels assured that efforts from him must be for ever super
seded by the admirable vindication of Ecclesiastical endowments from the pen of an eminent professor; whose genius, ever piously and eloquently active, will long, it is hoped, be continued to his admiring country, and to the establishment which he adorns. The author cannot conclude without expressing his hope, that the sentiments of an individual so highly valued by our dissenting brethren as Dr. Chalmers, on the subject of establishments, will soften their asperities, and lead their minds to greater delicacy and hesitation in opposing long-established Christian institutions.
133, George Street, Edinburgh, 1832.