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TO THE READER.
LET no one cast aside this little volume, as the work of a crude and unfurnished mind; or as the product of a captious grumbler, ignorant of the theology he underrates and incapable of grasping his subject; or as the sickly dreams of a diseased imagination. If any are so dead to the interests of humanity as to be insensible to the considerations here presented, it is time they were awakened; if any are alive to them, but inactive, it is time they were put on the alert. Few, it is hoped, can follow the train of reflection here suggested, without experiencing a feeling that there is a lamentable omission in our Protestantism, and without a desire to understand the subject better. It will be found there is a wide range for the mind in the topics here touched, and that a reformation remains to be effected greater than any yet conceived.
We have added to the text extended bibliographical notices and catalogues, in the hope of tempting the studious and humane into this field of research, and of facilitating the labours of those who may be willing to devote their thoughts to the service of humanity,
OCTOBER 20th, 1851.