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WITH the most profound veneration, and with the
warmest feelings of my heart, I venture to inscribe this little Work, with the wish that it were more worthy of such dedication, to the Memory of a Man, whom, in my mind, I have uniformly classed with those righteous men, who, as divinely declared, shall be had in everlasting remembrance; and whose condescending friendship, of the most edifying description, was to me a source of the purest religious enjoyment. His character for every Christian virtue was universally acknowledged, and the recollection of it will ever be an excitement to man's whole duty. In public, his hand was in every good work, dispersing abroad, and giving to the poor. But his private munificence, in charities, which, to secure the purity of his love to his Saviour, he kept closely concealed from the of the world, kept pace with his public distributions.
I was for
years, and year after year, one of his private almoners, to a great amount, under repeated charge of the strictest secresy: From which, however, I now feel myself absolved by his lamented death; and which I mention to illustrate his Christian character, and as an encouragement to others to do good, for the glory of God.
In the pious recollection of that amiable worth which I witnessed, I now, in the last stage of my mortal life, with humble hope in Christ of a happy re-union, trembling as such hope ought to be on my side, but with firm trust in that merciful Redeemer, who is our only Hope, presume, in all humility, to associate my mean and obscure name, with the name of one of the best of Christians, and most benevolent men, whom I have ever known.
With these warm emotions of my heart, which embraces most affectionately his whole numerous Posterity, among whom the amiable example of his virtues HAS BEEN and is perpetuated in the paths that lead to bliss, THIS VOLUME IS SOLEMNLY INSCRIBED ΤΟ THE MEMORY OF SIR WILLIAM FORBES, BARONET, of PITSLIGO, who, with the lamentation of all who knew him, died in the year 1806,
IN the school of Christ, meekness and humility are primary lessons. But in the disputations, which diversity of opinion with regard to the Articles of His religion-in itself the parent of love and peace and unity-has occasioned, those first lessons are apt to be forgotten, although both meekness and fear are expressly commanded to attend them (1 St. Pet. iii. 15). The detection of error, on the one side, frequently transports men, in their too passionate, however just and necessary opposition to it, into an error on the other ex
This has been particularly exemplified in the deplorablydangerous controversies upon the most sublime Institution of our divine religion, ordained by Christ to commemorate His death, the source of our life, and to consign the benefits of it to all His faithful followers, consolidated thereby into the closest unity, until he shall come again from heaven to judge the quick and the dead.
The Church of Rome, in the progress of dark ages, first dreamed and then maintained the commemoration to be the substantial repetition of the original sacrifice, which once only could be offered, and that only by the One Priest Himself, God and Man in one Person. This astonishing doctrine, which, to the horror of the enlightened mind, pretends to sacrifice in the Mass the very substantial flesh and blood of
Christ, a sacrifice in itself, and by its own inherent merit and virtue, propitiatory, which had usurped the place of the truly scriptural and primitive memorial of bread and wine, representative of the body and blood of Christ, has excited, in many very worthy persons, a strong prejudice against the genuine and truly Catholic doctrine and practice of the commemorative sacrifice, which the other had supplanted. But this, while it prevailed, and where it prevails, as it speaks plainly in all the ancient Liturgies, and in the writings of all the early Fathers, plants the strongest bulwark against the error (a very appalling error !) which was stamped upon the words of the Roman Liturgy, but which the first reformed Liturgy of the Church of England, returning to the primitive standard, perfectly overthrew.
To shew this, as well as to state and illustrate the nature and gracious purpose of the divinely-instituted memorial, is the design of the following humble attempt. In the sincerity of my heart, devoting it to the glory of my Divine Redeemer, "who gave Himself an Offering and a Sacrifice" for me and for all mankind, and, in hope of His acceptance and blessing, I drew it up, after the best search that I could make. But justly distrusting my own judgment, I requested for it the perusal and opinion of a learned and judicious friend, who most obligingly sent me in return a brief historical detail of the most remarkable modern opinions upon the head. This, confidently presuming upon his permission, I will here subjoin, that it may serve by way of prefatory introduction:
"In the early part of the last century, strong prejudices were excited against this doctrine by the intemperance of controversy, and by the suspicion that the supporters of it were really symbolizing with the Church of Rome. Of Hoadley, and his Plain Account, I need say nothing; for I believe he has few followers in England, and his authority