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In a little work* published seven years ago, the Author of the following Discourses intimated a desire to work out for himself and present to his readers, a distinct answer to the question, What is Christianity ?' and the work then put forth was designed as a mere preliminary to another, in which this great inquiry should be prosecuted. The purpose then announced still remains, and the materials for its execution are for the most part prepared. The present rolume, however, is not offered as any part of its fulfilment: but rather in temporary apology for its non-fulfilment.
Of his reasons for withholding for a time that promised volume, this is not the proper place to speak at any length. A change in some of his views, and the consciousness of immaturity in others, have certainly had a share of influence in producing the postponement. But it has been occasioned chiefly by his desire to lay aside for a while the polemical character, which necessity, not choice, has impressed upon his former writings; and which, until relieved by some task of higher spirit, misrepresents the order of his convictions, engaging him upon the outward form of Christian belief, while silent of the inner heart of human life and faith.
* The Rationale of Religious Enquiry; or the Question stated of Reason, the Bible, and the Church.