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BY THE RIGHT REV. JOHN MILNER, D. D.
“Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my, Church, and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it.'
FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION REVISED BY THE AUTHOR.
THE EDITOR TO THE READER.
In this work, entitled “The End of Religious Controversy," the author and his correspondents having established the certainty of divine revelation and the truth of the Christian religion, he proposes the means by which, among the various discordant creeds of those who profess Christianity, the true faith which Jesus Christ brought down from heaven, and the true church which he established on earth, may be discovered. He undertakes to prove that we are provided with the certain means of making this discovery, and that Christ himself has left us a rule of faith, adapted to the capacities of all, by which we may come to the knowledge of true religion.
Before he attempts to show what this rule is, he notices certain methods, which have been adopted as rules of faith, and proves them to be insufficient and fallacious.
Private inspiration, he maintains, cannot be a rule of faith, because private inspiration is in itself a questionable pretension ; may be claimed by one as well as by another, and all alike; and has, in fact, been claimed and acted upon by different sectaries, in support of different and contradictory tenets; at the same time that it has, in many instances, led the pretenders to it into the greatest absurdities and most shocking impieties. Another rule of faith, the rule adopted by the reformed churches in general, is the scripture or the wrilten word of God, left to the interpretation of each individual: for as no supreme, unerring authority is acknowledged by Protestants to determine the sense and meaning of Scripture, or to decide and announce what articles of faith are necessary for salvation, individual judgment is made the guide to individuals, the necessity of preachers is done away, and the commission of Jesus Christ to his apostles, “Go, teach all nations,” is annulled. Where there is no obligation to hear and obey, there can be no authority to teach and instruct. The church, as an infallible teacher, is discarded, but its powers are transferred to each individual person ; each person possesses infallibility in himself, each person is himself a church, accord