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TRACED TO THEIR SOURCE BY AN EXPOSITION OF THE VARIOUS
TRANSLATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS
AND AN ARRANGEMENT OF TEXTS IN SUPPORT OF THE TENETS OF THE
Church of England.
OF ST. PETER'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
" It is the proud privilege of Truth to solicit inquiry.”-D'Orly.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD,
In submitting the present volume to the public, the compiler is aware, that its materials, although now arranged in a new shape, are to be found in works, of which the greater part are well known, and some of but recent publication ; and he therefore feels bound to state, in justice to himself, that he had originally no other, object in view, than an addition to his own stöök of theological knowledge.
Having, however, amassed no inconsiderable number of notes, and arranged them nearly as they now stand, it occurred to him, that they might afford much interesting information, compressed in a small compass, to the young student in divinity; and even, perhaps, prove generally useful, as forming a book of reference.
The object of this work is to point out the disputed passages, if the expression may be allowed, of the New Testament, and under those passages to subjoin a succinct account of the tenets and customs of the various sects to which so many opposite interpretations of Scripture have given rise. Thus, according to this plan, the reader becomes acquainted at once with the creed of any particular denomination of Christians, and the basis upon which that creed is founded.
As to the manner of execution, it has been the wish of the compiler, whenever it has been practicable, to give the opinions of any particular sect in their own words. Thus, the articles headed “ Unitarianism” are either literal extracts from the Unitarian Version, or are the remarks of some acknowledged advocate of Unitarianism upon the particular passage in question ; without any comment whatever from the compiler of this work. If the reader will turn to the first note in this volume, he will find it printed with inverted commas, denoting it as a quotation. It is, in fact, a literal extract from the Unitarian Version, containing their arguments for holding the remainder of the first chapter of St. Matthew, &c. as spurious.
In the same manner, when at the end of an article the words “ Note to the Roman Catholic Version” occur, it is to be understood, that the article itself is a literal extract from the Roman Catholic Version of the New Testament, to which version notes are affixed, as explanatory of the Roman Catholic doctrine.
In the case of a much disputed passage, it is necessary to remark, that the opinions are classed in chronological order; and if this rule has been occasionally abandoned, it is presumed that the reason will be obvious to the reader, as the deviation has arisen, in almost every instance, from the wish, either to preserve a strict connection between two or more adjoining notes, where such connection was a matter of importance, or to give a priority of place to those opinions which appeared to possess a peculiar degree of consequence from the celebrity of their authors, or the number of their adherents. ; ; ; ,
Those persons who wish to become acquainted with the peculiar tenets of any one sect, say Quakers, e. g. have only to refer to the table of Contents, where, under the word “ Quakers,” they will find all the passages enumerated in which this sect is mentioned ; which passages, taken collectively, form a complete account of their tenets. By referring also to the index at the end of the volume, the reader will find some of the texts by which the Church of England is guided, opposed to the opinions of the different sects. i
- As so much depends upon the sources whence we derive the opinions of sectarians of former centuries, the compiler has occasionally given a list of authorities referred to, instead of the name of the work from which he immediately drew his information. At least, he has taken this liberty when extracting from the Dictionnaire des Hérésies, Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, or minor publications modelled upon that excellent work: but rarely in any other instance.
With regard to the tendency of the present publication, a very few words must be sufficient to