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be gratified in the accomplishment of the first object of his desire, in proportion as that impression shall be obvious to the eye of those who may deem what he has written worthy their perusal. On this point, he feels that he is linked by ties of strongest sympathy with all, in whatever ecclesiastical boundaries they are included, or whatever formularies they may employ, “who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,” and desire the universal proclamation of "the gospel of the grace of God.”
There is however, one conviction which has resulted from his examination, in which, on its first statement, he cannot expect, to an equal extent, the sympathy and approbation of every class of Christian readers. That conviction is, that Levitical terms and Jewish analogies have been, for the most part, improperly employed in the Christian church, from a period shortly subsequent to the decease of the Apostles down to the present time; and that the native beauty of Christianity cannot be clearly seen, nor the fulness of its consolations be generally enjoyed, nor its expansive energies be completely developed, until these terms and analogies are, in the common use, and well-informed intention of the church, restored to their original and inspired application.
The grounds of that conviction, and the consequences which they involve, fatal, as the Author con
ceives, to the claims of any existing hierarchy, and more especially to those which are made by the Roman-catholic priesthood, are laid open in the following work. How far the conviction is well founded, and, in the present eventful state of ecclesiastical affairs, important in its communication, the public will judge.
The Author is prepared to expect, that the positions which he has advanced will pass through a fiery ordeal. So much the better. What they may include of sterling ore, from the exhaustless mine of Scripture, will abide the trial, and shine the brighter for the process. What they may include of earthly alloy—and there is. no human production without a portion of such alloy --will be discovered, and separated from it.
The period has been, when the advocates of truth, unwelcome to ecclesiastical authorities, were led to the stake, and gave publicity to their principles, and displayed the firmness with which they held them, by sealing them with their blood. To run the gantlet of an interested, or hireling and abusive press, is now the moderated trial and penalty of those who would follow in their steps. From that trial, should he be called to it, the writer will not shrink. He is armed for it, by the firm persuasion of the truth of the principles which he has advocated; by the consciousness, that he has advanced through the whole extent of the open course of his argument, with unswerving integrity of
intention; and by the hope, that the duty which he has discharged, may be of some service to the Protestant cause, and to the general interests of true Christianity.
May 8, 1830.