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775/ ·W 81 1843

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

In the Advent of 1835, I delivered a course of Evening Lectures, in the Royal Sardinian Chapel, Lincoln's-IncFields, upon controversial subjects. It was comprised in seven Lectures, and was honoured by a very numerous attendance. At the approach of Lent, this year, I was desired by the Venerable Prelate, whom the London District has just lost, to undertake another course in the more spacious Church of St Mary's, Moorfields, upon the same subjects. It was proposed to confine it to a few lectures upon one topic; that so no disappointment might ensue, in case my health, or occupations, or a want of interest on the part of the public, should render it expedient to discontinue it. The subject selected was the Rule of Faith, or the authority of the Church, which occupies the first volume of this publication. But, through God's blessing I found myself able to persevere in my undertaking; though, in the preceding Lent, I had bee unequal to reading, in a room, two Lectures of half an hour's duration, in the week:* and, at the same time, I had the consolation of witnessing the patient and edifying attention of a crowded audience, many of whom stood for more than two hours, without betraying any

• The “ Lectures on the Connexion between Science and Re vealed Religion,” just published.

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symptoms of impatience. This endurance, which could only be attributed to the interest felt in the truths of our holy religion, encouraged me to proceed with the less connected subjects, comprised in my second volume.

The Lectures were taken down in short-hand: and it was understood that, upon my return to Rome, they should be prepared for publication. In the mean time, however, before the course was completed, an unauthorised edition began to appear, partly inaccurate, partly imperfect, and devoid of many references and illustrations, which could not be well given in an extemporaneous delivery. I was urged, as the only effectual means to prevent injury to myself or to my cause, to commence an edition sanctioned by myself.

This I undertook, though still engaged with a more laborious publication, which has caused considerable interruption in the regular issue of the numbers. I have added many notes and details, which I originally intended to reserve for my revision at Rome; and this has been a further cause of delay.

Those who attended the delivery of the Lectures will observe many changes and additions, which are attributable to different causes. First, to the imperfect state of the short-hand writer's notes, which made it often less laborious for me to write a considerable portion of a Lecture over again, than to correct the copy

before me. Secondly, to the necessity under which I often was in the delivery, of abridging or condensing, or omitting remarks

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and authorities, from want of time, which in my publica tion I have deemed it right to place at full. Thirdly, to my having occasionally turned back in a lecture to matter belonging to a preceding one, in consequence of difficulties communicated to me in the interval, or of an afterthought on my part; and such additions I have now transferred to their appropriate places. Fourthly, to my having omitted, in my second course, many views and passages which had appeared to make a sensible impression in my former one. This was done, partly from a desire to preserve a terser and more argumentative manner, partly from the fear of fatiguing an audience, partly composed of the same persons, by repetition. But these passages

have been now inserted.

In spite of these changes or intended improvements, much of the crudeness of unwritten discourses must still pervade these volumes, and many expressions will not present that accuracy which a well meditated and carefully revised composition would have possessed. Had I come to England prepared for such an undertaking, I flatter myself that, with God's grace, much more justice would have been done to the holy and beautiful cause.

I need not say, that in this publication, as in every other that proceeds from my pen, I completely subject myself to the judgment of the Church, and mean to preserve the strictest adherence to every thing that she teaches.

Before closing these preliminary remarks, I must ac

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kuowledge my obligations to two works, which have been of particular use to me, as they must be to any one treating upon controversial subjects. The first is the Symbolik of my learned friend Prof. Möhler, the most profound work, if I may coin a phrase, on the Philosophy of Divinity, which our time has produced; the other, better known in this country, is the useful compilation of Messrs Kirk and Berington, from which I have in general drawn my quotations of the Fathers.

And now, having nothing further to premise, I commend this little book to the favour and protection of the Almighty, begging his blessing upon both writer and reader; and I commit it to the candid and unbiassed judgment of all who shall take it into their hands; entreating them to lay aside, while they peruse it, all preconceived opinions regarding our faith, if they profess it not, and by no means to be offended with

any contradiction which they shall therein find, of their manner of thinking. For, whatever they shall read hath been written with a kind intent, and hath proceeded from a charitable spirit, and wishes to be received and pondered in hearts that love Christian meekness, and long after unity and peace.

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