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commend a due observance of it to
all those who profess a belief of the Gospel.
Bishop of the
State of New-York.
THAT the Holy Sacrament has of late been less: numerously attended than formerly, appears from recent documents, too well authenticated to admit dispute. The neglect, I conceive, has been princi-. pally caused by the importation of licentious and infidel trash from France ; but partly also by erroneous or inadequate accounts of the nature and im.. portance of the institution, circulated with mischie.. vous industry at home.
I was therefore of opinion; that an attempt to: rectify misapprehensions, and vindicate the dignity. of this most venerable rite, might have a peculiar propriety under the singular çircumstances of the present juncture. With this intention, I first published my Book, entitled, “ Considerations on the Nature and Efficacy of the Lord's Supper ;” which I have the satisfaction to find has been well receive. ed by those who, from their professional studies, are the best qualified to estimate the soundness of its doctrine. The volume, indeed, in its original, unabbreviated state, is rather large ;: but it being the opinion of a Prelate, whose Theological learning and abilities command the reverence of all who,
duly appreciate their extent and application, that an abridgment may be rendered more acceptable to many of the Laity. I concur with his Lordship, whose approbation is truly encouraging; and offer this Abridgment of my Book, in consequence of his opinion, publicly given in his last charge ; and of his request, most condescendingly made in private. At the same time, I cannot but express a wish, (which the Bishop also intimates, that those who are led by their profession, or enabled by their attainments, to study Theology, may be pleased to consider the whole of the important subject, as it is exhibited in the original volume unabridged.
This Epitome is chiefly designed for those whose occupied time, and moderate acquirements in literature, prevent them from entering, with any advantage to themselves, on points of controversy. May they be induced by it humbly, piously, and thankfully to receive the Bread of Life, which is able to strengthen and refresh them in their earthly pilgrimage, and to fill them with all joy and peace in believing, and make them abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost*.
* Rom. xv 13.
keaves no Doubt of the Present and in-