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PREFACE.

The following little work, on the present aspect of Christianity and the duties of Christians, owes its origin to a resolution of the Ministerial Conference of the Boston Baptist Association, requesting the author to prepare an Essay on the responsibilities of the denomination with which they are connected. It was delivered before the Association at its thirtythird anniversary; and owes its appearance from the press to a unanimous vote of that body requesting its publication. It has been somewhat enlarged, however, and the notes have been added in confirmation, or illustration of its positions.

The state of religion and morals under the influence of “ Catholicism" is so well known, and so often dwelt upon by the pulpit and the press; and is, moreover, so generally considered as the starting point of reform—the ultima Thule of corruption; that the author thought it unnecessary to enlarge on it. His aim was to show what is less understood that the Reformation has needed reforming.

It is not a pleasant thing to animadvert on long established, religiously cherished errors. And it could be to no one more unpleasant than to the writer. He can say, sincerely, that he loves the features of

the Christian wherever he sees them, and that he recognizes them, to a greater or less extent, under every badge of religious profession. His connexions, moreover, being almost entirely among the supporters of the sentiments and institutes on which he has spoken, every social and worldly consideration pleads with him for silence where even "speaking the truth in love” may give pain to dear friends and excellent Christians. But the events, in the religious world, that mark the present time, show that the day has come when the corruptions of Christianity must be dealt with faithfully, and Christianity itself must be vindicated from the surreptitious institutes and usages which have claimed its authority and assumed its name. May God grant to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity the knowledge of his truth; strength to obey his commands; and a willingness to part with a right hand for a pure conscience.

SYNOPTICAL VIEW.

TRUE RELIGION THE ONLY MORAL CONSERVATIVE: shown by 1. Antediluvian history; by 2. Gentile history; by 3. Hebrew history; by 4. The history of Christianity.

Condition of Christianity in

Italy.
Greece.
In the Protestant countries of Europe.

Great Britain.
Prussia.

SCRIPTURE View OF CHRISTIANITY.

Means of the corruption of Christianity.
Retention of Popish errors under the Reformation.

The English Church.
Calvin.

Luther.
Consequent struggles and excesses.
The Issue on the Continent-In England.
Religious History of this Country.

The Pilgrims.
Decline of religion and morals among their descendants.

Present tendencies. MEANS OF RESTORING CHRISTIANITY TO ITS PRIMITIVE EFFICACY. 1. The Bible must be made the sole guide in faith and practice. 2. The Ministry must be restored to its true position.

a.-Claims of Episcopacy.
5.-Consequences to be apprehended from its preva-

lence in this country:

3. The Church must fulfil its office.

Primitive Churches independent :

Witnesses, Mosheim-Barrow-Whately.
The Ordinances must be restored to their true expres.

sion.
4. The professor of religion must possess an appropriate char-

acter.

Mischiefs of birthright membership.
DUTY OF TRUE CHRISTIANS IN THE PRESENT STATE OF THINGS.
Duty of Baptist churches.

Their advantages:
Their dangers.
Their past history.
Their present duties.

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