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contemplate near fourfcore fervants of Chrift, men of talents, erudition, and fterling piety (the mitred prelate, the plain prefbyter, and the ftill plainer quaker) appearing before the tribunal of the public, and giving in their refpective teftimonies in behalf of that fublime religion to which they in common owed their dearest hopes and their choiceft confolations. Though on earth they may have stood aloof from each other, diftinguished by their little peculiarities; yet, in that portion of their writings, here introduced, impregnated with the unadulterated fpirit of the gospel, they feem jointly to maintain, that to acknowledge Chrift to be the Son of God, and to love one another, are the two primary articles of our holy religion. Meeting each other on thefe 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 Jefus Chrift, of every fentiment, and of every defcription, a multitude which no man can number, shall come from the north and from the fouth
from the eaft and from the west, and shall fit, down with thofe illuftrious patriarchs, Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Exhilirating thought! Transporting profpect! Towards that auguft period may our eyes be fteadily directed. For an union with that glorious affembly may we be prepared, endeavouring, by every poffible method, to keep the unity of the fpirit in the bond of peace.
In the introductory effay, fir, a perfpicuous brevity has been studied; and it is founded on a declaration of Jefus Chrift, that it may generate a stronger impreffion upon the minds of Chriftian youth, for whom the whole work is chiefly intended. To the candour of the reader, and to the bleffing of heaven, I now fincerely commend it-perfuaded that the cause it means to ferve, is, the caufe of God and truth-and will therefore prove, notwithstanding the occafional infirmities of its friends, and the reiterated oppofition of its enemies-finally triumphant !
You will, fir, I truft, excufe my hav ing prefixed your name to this dedica
tion. It is the most expreffive 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 fons, and my other pupils*, may embrace upon the fulleft 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 ufefully fill up the ftations which an indulgent Providence fhall affign them upon the theatre of human life-and for which their prefent course of education is preparing them, are, dear fir, the unfeigned wishes, and fervent prayer, of Your much obliged friend,
Saville Row, Mile End Road,
April 6th, 1796.
The fons of Jofeph Slater, Efq. to whom I am alse much indebted for the important trust he has reposed in me.
ESSAY on the Right of Private Judgment, &c.
BY DIVINES OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND,