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HERE is a little book in illustration and defence of a very un. popular doctrine. The author believes it to be as ancient as Christianity, and as true as the New Testament. But is a doctrine little understood, and almost everywhere spoken against. He therefore entreats his readers to divest themselves as much as possible of prejudice, and patiently examine what he has here written. He does not expect every one to be pleased with what he has presented in this volume, not even those who approve of it as a whole. But he desires friends and opposers to be candid, just and geneerous; to treat the work as they would have one of their own (on any important subject) treated. He wishes no personal strain of panegyric from those who may think well of his Treatise. Let all glory be given to the Supreme Source of wisdom and goodness. On the other hand, he hopes that those who may think ill of it will be manly enough not to condemn it merely on account of its authorship. Let it be approved or condemned solely on its own intrinsic merits or demerits.
It is soberly and frankly addressed to the reason, conscience and higher sentiments of mankind, not to their propensities and lower passions. May it be read and responded to accordingly. The honest inquirer will ask,—Is it in accordance with divine truth and righteousness ? Search and see. Perhaps the controversial critic will look for its errors, fallacies, inconsistencies, and assailable points. If there are any such, let them be detected and exposed. This ought to be done ; but let those who undertake it prove themselve workmen that need not be ashamed. Let them be sure that they understand the subject, that they understand precisely what is contended for in this work, and that they are competent to refute its fundamental positions by good and sufficient arguments. It is so plain, discriminating and unequivocal in the style of its statements and reasonings, that serious misapprehen: sion or misrepresentation of its meaning will hardly be excusable.