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broken cisterns of human device; but in that way wherein alone Divine grace is promised, and which, , amidst the infirmities, the errors, and the faults inseparable from human agency, conducts to eternal life.

In addition to these considerations, which would in themselves justify an attempt to examine the question of the church in its full extent, the alteration of circumstances and opinions furnish another reason for this undertaking. The controversies between our churches and their various opponents, have been gradually assuming new forms.

Fresh theories and arguments have been devised; while many of those ancient errors against which the masters of Anglo-catholic theology contended in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, have been permitted to sink into oblivion. One class of separatists has ceased to maintain the temporal power of the Roman pontiff, and other Ultramontane doctrines : another no longer claims a divine right for its system of church-government; and a false Liberality has arisen, which views truth and error with impartial indifference, and opens the way to Infidelity.

Such circumstances will, I hope, justify the publication of this Treatise, in which, avoiding obsolete controversies, and, as much as possible, the discussion of the particular doctrines of Revelation, it has been my object to examine the origin, signs, privileges, powers, relations, and existing condition of the Catholic Church and of all sects, and to supply the theological student with a selection of arguments, by which he may be enabled to defend the Churches of this realm against all adversaries whatsoever.

It has been my endeavour to adapt the entire system to the existing state of controversy. I have therefore carefully examined whatever has been advanced by our opponents, and replied to every thing that seemed worthy of a reply. The arguments of the modern and ancient Roman theologians of eminence, especially those which are taught in their seminaries, have been diligently collected and refuted.

This work being designed, not so much for general readers, as for students of theology, I have adopted a mode of arrangement and division, which has less of a popular form than is now usual, but which may contribute to the clearness of the argument, and to facility of reference. I have avoided the multiplication of proofs where a few seem sufficient, and have generally, where I could do so with satisfaction, referred the reader to works where additional information


be obtained. Nor can I refrain from here acknowledging the advantages which, in the course of this publication, I have derived from the judgment, the learning, and the unwearied kindness of my friend, the Rev. RICHARD GRESWELL, Fellow and Tutor of Worcester College.

In a treatise comprehending so many difficult and important questions, I cannot expect, notwithstanding considerable care, that no mistakes or inaccuracies have escaped my pen: but as I hope they will not be found numerous or material, so I shall, if afforded the opportunity, endeavour hereafter to supply whatever corrections and amendments may seem adviseable. But, I would add, that the leading principles and conclusions here defended are, I trust, supported by such proofs as cannot be overthrown. They will at least show, that members of the church of England are not obliged to take the attitude of dissenters or of latitudinarians, in defending themselves against papists; and that our whole system of argument against all sects and heresies is, or may be, harmonious and consistent.

I now commend this work to the protection of ALMIGHTY GOD, praying that it may confirm the reader in an enlightened and devoted adherence to the faith and the communion of our holy churches; and that it may increase his love for all who are of the household of faith, his charitable forbearance towards the imperfect and feeble members of Christ's church, and his zeal to promote the glory of God and the salvation of man, in that way which God himself has appointed.

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