Page images
PDF
EPUB

to reject with impartiality such as have not duly qualified themselves for the important task of religious instruction.—Your Lordstiip has done still more. —Having observed the inconvenience arising from the want of a proper foundation for Theological acquirements, you devoted your time and thoughts to the composition of a Treatise, from which the student in Di vinity may not only gain a general acquaintance with the subject, but also be assisted in extending his inquiries to the collateral branches of that most invaluable science.

I Can scarcely flatter myself, my Lord, that an attempt, so humble as mine, can be materially useful in promoting the great ends, which your Lordship has so laudably kept in view. But I mall not regret the attempt I have made, if it only give me an opportunity of bearing testimony to your Lordship's exertions, DEDICATION.

tions, and of expressing my ardent hope, that such exertions may induce 1 the co-operation of all, whose station in the Church enables them to pursue measures equally honourable to themselves, and useful to the cause of Christianity.

I Am the more anxious to hold up your Lordship's conduct in these instances to applause and to imitation, because a sort of paradoxical distinction has been sometimes set up between sound Divines and useful Ministers—a distinction very convenient, no doubt, for those, who would deprive the Church of it's most effectual defence against the opposite, but equally fatal, extremes of Infidelity and Fanaticism. Well does it behove the appointed Guardians of our national faith to consider, by what better means they can secure it from the dangers with a 2 which which it is menaced, by an avowed contempt for all religion on the one hand, and a fantastic pretence to excessive sanctity on the other, than by encouraging an accurate and profound knowledge of the holy Scriptures among the Teachers of religion. A learned Clergy, employing their knowledge with zeal, and tempering their zeal with charity, is the best preservative, under Providence, against that ignorance and immorality, which, acting upon different intellects and different tempers, may frequently be regarded as alike productive of Scepticism and Superstition.

That your Lordsliip may enjoy a continuance of health and happiness, and be long enabled to distinguish yourself in the cause of true religion; whether it be openly assailed by the furious zeal of the

UnbeDEDICATION.

V

Unbeliever, or secretly undermined by the specious errours of the Enthusiast; is, My Lord, the unfeigned wish of

Your Lordship's
Truly Faithful,

and Obedient Servant,

EDWARD MALTBY.

« PreviousContinue »