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contemplate „,*, fourscore scrvants rf Christ, men of talents, erudition, and flwlmg piety (the mitred prelate, the plain presbyter, and the still piaine, quaker) appearing before the tribunal of the public, and giving in their respective testimonies in behalf of that sublime religion to which they in common owed their dearest hopes and their choicest consolations. Though on earth they may have stood aloof from each other distinguished by their little peculiarities • yet, in that portion of their writings, here introduced, impregnated with the unadulterated spirit of the gospel, they seem jointly to maintain, that to ac knowledge Christ to be the Son of God and to love one another, are the two primary articles of our holy religion. Meeting each other on these evangelical principles, how gratifying is it to the best feelings of the heart, to realize their junction around the throne of God! They and all the true followers of Jesus Christ of every sentiment, and of every description a multitude which no man can number, shall come from the north and from the south—
from the east and from the west, and shall'Jit', down with thofe illustrious patriarchs, Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the king' clom of heaven. Exhilirating thought! Transporting prospect! Towards that au* gust period may -our eyes be steadily directed. For an union with that glorious assembly may we be prepared, endeavouring, by every possible method, to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
In the introductory essay, sir, a perspicuous brevity has been studied; and It is founded on a declaration of JesuS Christ, that it may generate a stronger impression upon the minds of Christian youth, for whom the whole work is chiefly intended. To the candour of the reader, and to the blessing of heaven, I now sincerely commend it—persuaded that the cause it means to serve, is, the cause of God and truth—and will therefore prove, notwithstanding the occasional infirmities of its friends, and the reiterated opposition of its enemies—-finally triumphant!
You will, sir, I trust, excuse my having prefixed your name to this dedica
tion. It is the most expressive mode which I had in my power, of testifying my gratitude for the kindness and attention with which you, and your worthy family, have uniformly honoured me.
That your two sons, and my other pupils*, / may embrace upon the fullest conviction, at an early period of life, The ChrisTian Religion, which is equally remote from indifference and bigotry; and that they may one day honourably and usefully fill up the stations which an indulgent Providence mall assign them upon the theatre of human life—and for which their present course of education is preparing them, are, dear sir, the unfeigned wishes, and fervent prayer, of Your much obliged friend,
Seville Row, Mile End Road,
* The sons of Joseph Slater, Esq. to whom I am also much indebted for the important trust he has reposed in me.
EsSJY on the Right ofPrivate Judgment, &c. . . Page rtvii