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A FAMILIAR ILLUSTRATION OF THE PRINCIPLES
“ Jesus Christ himself being the chief Corner Stone"
BY JACOB ABBOTT.
AUTHOR OF THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN,' AND 'TIIE TEACHER,
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM PEIRCE.
NEW YORK: JOHN P. HAVEN.
PHILADELPHIA: HENRY PERKINS.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1834, by William Peirce, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PRESS OF WEBSTER AND SOUTHARD,
9 Cornhill, Boston.
STEREOTYPED BY LYMAN THURSTON & CO.
The following work is intended to be, in some sense, the counterpart to the “ Young Christian;" that having exhibited the first principles of Christian duty, and this on the other hand developing the clements of religious truth.
The experienced Christian must not look here for additions to his stock of religious knowledge. If I had had any new and peculiar views of any portion of divine truth, I should not have brought them forward in this volume; for it is the elements only of Christianity, which I mean here to teach. It is not my aim to advance the science of theology, but to disseminate its acknowledged principles; and I have endeavored to exhibit them simply as they are taught in the New Testament, and as they have been understood by the great body of Christians in every age.
There has been, it must be admitted, and there still continues to be, some controversy on the subjects treated in this volume; and how far what I have said may be acceptable to different classes of Christians, I do not know. I should suppose it would meet with
decided opposition, from some, were it not that I have often been surprised to see how Christians, who have been considered as entertaining views apparently the most diverse, will come together on a simple exhibition of the gospel, when it is not urged in a tone of challenge and defiance. A heated controversy drives men to such extremes in their expressions, that a calm bystander cannot easily tell what they really do believe. Should any persons, however, find anything in this volume to disapprove, I trust they will do me the justice to admit, that I have made this exhibition of the gospel, with reference to its moral effect on human hearts, and not for the purpose of taking sides in a controversy between different parties of Christians.
The work is not intended to contain a complete system of religious truth. Like the “Young Christian," it is designed to be only one excursion into a field which is almost boundless; and in our progress through it, I call the attention of those who accompany me, to such objects, and to such moral scenery, as naturally come in our way. A system of theology is a map or a plan, in which every feature of the country must be laid down in its proper place and proportion; this work is on the other hand a series of vieros, as the traveller sees them in passing over a certain road. In this case, the road which I have taken, leads indeed through the heart of the country, but it does not by any means bring to view all which is interesting or important.