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he found that the bulk of the work would be swollen far beyond the limits which he had prescribed to himself; he felt also that the protracted investigation would materially interfere with the solution of that one independent question which he trusts now is kept unmixed with any other. He has, consequently, in the present address limited the range of his researches on the nature of Primitive Christian Worship, to the writers of the Church Catholic who lived before the Nicene Council, or were members of it.

In one department, however, he has been under the necessity of making, to a certain extent, an exception to this rule. Having found no allusion to the doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin, on which much of the religious worship now paid to her seems to be founded, in any work written before the middle of the fifth century, he has been induced, in his examination of the grounds on which that doctrine professes to be built, to cite authors who flourished subsequently to the Nicene Council.

The author would also mention, that although in substance he has prepared this work for the examination of all Christians equally, and trusts that it will be found not less interesting or profitable to the members of his own Church than to any other, yet he has throughout adopted the form of an address to his Roman Catholic countrymen. Such a mode of conveying his sentiments he considered to be less controversial, while the facts and the arguments would remain the same. His object


is not to condemn, but to convince: not to hold up

to obloquy those who are in error, but, as far as he may be allowed, to diminish an evil where it already exists, and to check its further prevalence.






FELLOW CHRISTIANS, Whilst I invite you to accompany me in a free and full investigation of one of those tenets and practices which keep asunder the Roman and the Anglican Church, I am conscious in how thankless an undertaking I have engaged, and how unwelcome to some is the task in which I call upon you to join. Many among the celebrated doctors of the Roman Church have taught their disciples to acquiesce in a view of their religious obligation widely different from the laborious and delicate office of ascertaining for themselves the soundness of the principles in which they have been brought up. It has been with many accredited teachers a favourite maxim, that individuals will most acceptably fulfil their duty by abstaining


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