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PROTESTANTS need instruction as to the Scriptural ground upon which rest the doctrines of the Reformation.
Protestants are too ready to receive the unwarranted assertion made by the defenders of Romanism, that antiquity is altogether on the side of the Papacy.
Protestants are not sufficiently aware that it is impossible to sustain the peculiar dogmas of of the Roman Catholic Church, by an appeal even to her own versions of the Bible.
Protestants, moreover, entertain a too lenient view of the principles and practices of Roman Catholicism.
Impressed with these facts, the author, in the course of the last Winter determined to present to the members of his Congregation, in a series
of Lectures, a connected view of those doctrines of Protestantism which directly bear upon the errors of the Papal Church. He hoped also, that by making known his intention, some Roman Catholics might be induced to hear what a Protestant can say in defence of the principles of his Faith.
The author was not disappointed in this hope. Hundreds of Roman Catholics heard these Lectures, and some few were convinced that Protestantism is THE OLD RELIGION. Many Protestants also were confirmed in that Faith for which their forefathers had laid down their lives.
It is at the request of large numbers of the Protestant portion of his audience, which swelled, as the course proceeded, to four thousand persons, that the author has been induced to give these Lectures to the public.
In preparing for the press, he has strictly adhered to the forms of expression which were employed in the pulpit. The reader, therefore,
will not look for that precision of style which would mark a simply didactic treatise.
The author wishes to record his indebtedness to a valuable work on a portion of this controversy, by the Right Reverend Bishop Hopkins, for the assistance, both in argument and in authorities, rendered him in discussing the subject of the second lecture; also to the works of the Reverend Dr. Cumming of London, and of the Reverend Dr. Elliott of Cincinnati, for some of those illustrations of the character of Roman Catholicism, which are found in others of the Lectures.
Montreal, 15th August, 1853.
THE ONE SOURCE OF RELIGIOUS TRUTH.
It has been already announced to you that my object in delivering the series of Lectures upon which we now enter, is to expound the principles and doctrines of the Protestant faith. I rather desire to inform the Protestant mind than to contend, much less cavil with my Roman Catholic friends. It will, I need not say, be impossible, in addressing myself to such a subject as that whose discussion is now proposed, not to refer to the Church whose errors gave rise to those Lutheran remonstrances which resulted in the system denominated “ Protestantism :" but, in doing this it will be my continual purpose to avoid the utterance of a single word that will even offend the taste, much less wound the feelings of any person who may hear me. It is possible, so at least I believe, to deal with error without descending to personal abuse; it is possible to expose the inconsistencies of a system, without infringing towards its adherents, the law of love.
I ask for these Lectures the candid consideration of every Roman Catholic who may favour me with his presence and attention. Whatever I shall say of the doctrines and worship of the Church of Rome will be derived from acknowledged standards or authorities of