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Rule to direct Men in their Judgment on the Subject of
Reformation of Religion does not consist in modernizing
it, but in restoring it to its primitive Standard Reformation of our Church built on this Ground
Rule of Conduct for a Christian Minister
Seal, its Validity depends on the Commission of the Party
Separation from the Church of England distinguished from
that of Separation from the Church of Rome
Salvation, none out of the Church, how to be understood 144
AN INDEX OF PRINCIPAL MATTERS.
Subscriptions, Dr. Paley's loose Notion on this head, 323;
Standard of Authority, no settled, according to Dr. Paley 334
Toleration Civil, not Religious, an Act of Suspension
Text of John iii. 5, explained
Tertullian on the Rule of Faith, in contradiction to Dr.
PRINTED BY F. C. BAKEWELL, ST. JAMES'S STREET, EATH.
PREFACE TO THE READER.
IT was the lamentation of the celebrated Erasmus, that the eighth folio volume of his works should be taken up in answers to objections that had been made to his former writings. His words on the occasion were these: "Octavum occupent apologiæ. Me, miserum! et hæ justum volumen efficient."
Considering the little that I have written, and the subject I have undertaken, I cannot forbear lamenting, that there should be a necessity for the publication of a second volume, to maintain the doctrines advanced in my first. And having no desire to engage in controversy, (a species of writing, as it is generally managed, which is too apt to call into exercise those qualities of the mind, which the Christian religion was intended to bring under subjection) I could have wished, that the task of answering objections had fallen into other hands. Still, pledged as I am by what has been already advanced, (and not without mature consideration) I should not, it is probable, stand
acquitted by the public, were I to desert a cause, which, however unequal to the undertaking, I am professionally bound to support.
Fully impressed with this idea, I throw myself on the indulgence of the Reader; in the hope that the intention of the author will compensate for the defects of his performance. It may be proper, however, to observe, on the subject of the following sheets, that it is not elegance of composition, so much as a correct and perspicuous statement of facts accompanied with correspondent reasoning, that is to be looked for in them; and that their merit (if they may pretend to any) consists in this, that the matter contained in them is calculated to convey useful information to every well-disposed mind. "It is enough for me (if I may speak in the language of pious Bishop Taylor) to be an under-builder in the house of God; and I glory in the employment; I labour in the foundations; and therefore the work needs no apology for being plain, so it be strong and well laid." Should the learned reader think, as it is probable he may, that the subject, in some parts, wants compression; the unlearned one, for whose advantage I chiefly write, 'may feel himself indebted to its dilated form for that more particular information, which it was designed to leave on his mind: a consideration which weighs heavier in my scale of estimation, than any degree of credit that might otherwise have accrued to myself. The honours which wit and learning may deservedly acquire, from their exer tion on their appropriate subjects, I shall never envy; satisfied, should I be counted worthy to be
numbered among those writers, who, in a cause which every minister of the Church ought to have at heart, shall be thought to have contributed, in any degree, to the establishment of truth. Should the world be grown so old in error, as no longer to be in a disposition to receive the truth, I have to lament the circumstance. But, though in such case I can have neither fame nor emolument to expect, there is still something far better than either, of which no honest man can be deprived; namely, that satisfaction with which the consciousness of having discharged a duty, must ever be accompanied.
The subject here committed to the public is certainly of the most important kind; particularly so in the present day. In handling it, should I so far have succeeded, as by leaving conviction on any reader's mind, to make him a more regular, confirmed, and consistent member of the Church, than he otherwise might have been; I shall thank God, for having thought fit to make me, unworthy as I am, the instrument of doing some good, at a time when, confessedly, much good is wanted to be done. The most valuable return the reader can make, for the hours that have been dedicated to his service, will be his earnest prayer to God, that the writer of the book before him, after having endeavoured to guide others into the good and right way, may not himself be found in the number of those who are lost.
Bath, March 26, 1804.