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cation with the true God,-Deut. iv.--as more ignorant on the most important of of all subjects, than those nations who confessedly lived “ without God in the world.”
For this strange misrepresentation we are principally indebted to that great inattention, to the language and spiritual · meaning of the Mosaic law, which had long been growing on the Christian world ; and which has, at length, tended to render the Scriptures of the Old Testament, in a great degree, unintelligible to the Christian reader; and thereby give advantage to the impugners of the characteristic doctrines of the Cross, by removing out of sight some of the strongest evidence by which they are supported.
To counteract the effects of such fatal inattention, which have been manifested in those various schemes of Religion, which the human imagination has at different times substituted for that of the Bible; it becomes necessary, for the more firm establishment of our faith, that we re-ascend to its original source; and thence
follow Revelation in its course, till we are
Such was the object before me, when I
For the confutation of Heresy, every thing perhaps has been done, that the collation of different texts of Scripture, fairly interpreted according to the letter, is ca
pable of accomplishing. After that complete specimen * of biblical research and verbal criticism, with which one of ne ablest Divines (to whom every sound member of the Church must look
up titude) favored the world some years since, and to which every Clerical Student may have recourse in confidence, as to a standard Text Book of his profession; an attempt to add any thing to the perfection of such a species of proof, would at best be superfluous.
But repeated experience has shewn, that no species of verbal proof, however fairly drawn, is capable of establishing a doctrine which the prejudice of the human mind is indisposed to receive. Whilst the plea of erroneous translations, supposed interpolations, and imaginary defects of inspiration is made use of, to get rid of an obvious but offensive interpretation; to hunt heretics out of all their hiding places, and effectually to dislodge them from all their fastnesses, will continue to be, what it ever has been, an hopeless attempt.
* Rev. W. Jones's Catholic Doctrine.
All that remains therefore, with any prospect of success, to be done in this case, is to convince gainsayers, if they are open to conviction, that the proof of the essential doctrines of Christianity does not so much depend on the admission or rejection of a few particular texts, which may possibly allow of some latitude of interpretation, as on the united testimony, which the general tenor of Revelation will on examination be found to bear to the doctrines in question. For when it is considered that the divine scheme of Redemption consitutes the great subject of Revelation; and that the Revealer is that wise Being to whom all things are present; and with whom is neither variableness nor shadow of turning;" it follows that an uniformity of design must be a characteristic of that scheme; and consequently that any apparent discordance between separate parts of Revelation, should weigh nothing in the balance against the general correspondence that pervades the whole of it.
With this idea in my mind I have been accustomed to read my Bible; and have the satisfaction to think that my convic
tion respecting the establishment of God's Church, considered as the divine means of preserving and conveying, through the several changes of the world, the precious Doctrines of Salvation, from the beginning to the end of time, has increased in a degree proportionate to my acquaintance with the contents of that Sacred Book.
On the divine establishment and particular constitution of the Church, in its immediate reference to the dispensation under which we are placed, I have, on a former occasion, committed myself to the public; in the humble hope of being, in a degree at least, instrumental, through divine blessing, in checking the progress of those unsettled principles, which have generated an indifference for established institutions peculiarly characteristic of the present age.
From the utmost attention that I have been able to pay to this subject, and it has been my endeavour to examine it impartially; I feel no hesitation in declaring it to be, in my opinion, not less the duty of Christians to conform to that ecclesiastical polity which has received the sanction