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So far, indeed, are the comments and animadversions which have been made by some Periodicals from being just towards the author, that he scarcely knows what he could have done more than he did, in endeavouring to bring the proofs under the notice of Mr. Noel. They were, as has been stated, “repeatedly offered”: some of the first having been forwarded to him, with the intention of sending them all as they came out; and when, at Mr. Noel's suggestion, they were discontinued, the author thought it right more than once, subsequently, to offer to forward them as before.
He considered it his duty, also, when the sheets were printed off, to furnish a final opportunity for any statement to be made in the Preface of the Adjudicators which might be deemed desirable, after inspection of the work; and the proof-sheets were enclosed to Mr. Noel, whose attention was particularly directed to such revisions and emendations as had occurred in the preparation for the press. The author offered at the same time, to notice these, if necessary, in his own “Preface”: but on the return of the proofsheets, he learned that the Adjudicators did not consider this important.
Mr. Noel states to the author that the reason why he did not peruse the proof-sheets that were sent to him, as the author supposed he had done, was, that pressing engagements at the time prevented him from devoting more attention to a subject to which he had already given so much labour as an Adjudicator: and he did not anticipate that any expressions or sentiments would occur in the revised work such as those above alluded to, and to which he does not agree. Every impartial person must indeed see that, under these circumstances, Mr. Noel is no party to any alleged faults in the volume, against which he has excepted. The author was not laid under any restrictions as to revision. He may state that unavoidable circumstances delayed the publication of the work. In the mean time, it happened that there was a remarkable, and almost daily thickening of the Ecclesiastical Controversy, both in relation to the temporal and spiritual claims of the contending parties. It was not likely that the author's mind would be wholly unimpressed by this state of things occurring in the interval: nor did he conceal from Mr. Noel the fact, that, under this influence, he was revising for the press the latter part of the last chapter in particular. He did not indeed expect that Mr. Noel could concur in all his expressions* respecting the exclusive claims of the Church of England, or of any of its members: but honestly thinking, as the author does, that these claims are the main cause of our principal schisms, and having expressed similar sentiments in the original manuscript, though in terms less strong, he submitted the proof-sheets to be excepted against if anything were disapproved. The author ought also to state that all the proofs were regularly sent, as they came from the press, to Sir Culling Eardley Smith, according to a request in a letter from Mr. Noel.
The author has forwarded the above statement, for the inspection of the Hon. and Rev. Baptist W. Noel; who, with that candour and truly Christian spirit which distinguish him, kindly agrees in the correctness of the facts : and states that he has no objection to its insertion.
The author has adopted the present mode of noticing the animadversions of the Periodicals above alluded to, in preference to replying to them formally; because he is aware how utterly useless it is even to hope for impartiality and fairness in some quarters.
He has only to add that he has not allowed the Publishers to continue the names of the respected Adjudicators, in the advertisements of the work, without previously consulting them.
Page xxvi. in the Table of Contents, read Chapter III. Disguises of Schism.
UNITY. CHAPTER I. Page Usity of the UNFALLEN CREATION . - - - ... 3 CHAPTER II. The Apostasy FROM UNIVERsAl Love - - - ... 6
The Re-UNITING TENDENcy of the Dispensation of MERcy
| 0 CHAPTER IV. The Founding of ChristiANITY As A System of BENEvoLENCE - - - - - - - - 15 CHAPTER V. ChastiANITY IN the Apostolic Age - - - 23
Who is a Christian 2 - - - - - - . 29
Unity not dependant on uniformity—Jewish diversities—Proselytes of the
Corinth, respecting meats, and other observances.
Uniformity of church-order, oecumenical or national, not essential to
Estimate of the Fathers—Early corruptions—Clement of Rome—Ignatius,
churches and bishops.