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D. D. l. l. D.
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED
An Account of the Author's Lise, in a Sermon occasioned
or New York.
In THREE VOLUMES.
Printed and published by William W. Woodward, N°. 17,
ICOPY RIGHT SECURED.}
Was Published in the European, which makes but a part of the American Edition.
THE fallowing Treatises were originally published at difserent times, and some of them on particular occasions; but tbc attentive reader will easily perceive one leading design running through the whole. The author hath long been of opinion, that the great decay of religion in all parti oftVus kingdom, it ibiojly wiving to a departure from the truth as it is in Jesus, from those doctrines -which chiefly constitute tbc substance of the gospel. It may perhaps be justly imputed to other general causes in part, and in some measure to less universal cautes in particular places ; but as all moral action must arise srom principle, otherwise it ought not to be called by that name, the immediate and most powerful cause of degeneracy in practice, must always be a corruption in principle.
/ am sensible that many will be ready to cry out on this occasion, "Such notions arise from narrowness of mind and uncharitable senti"ments." I answer, that it is surprising to think benv easily the fashionable or cant phrases of the age, will pass among superficial thinkers and readers, without the least attention either to their meaning, or to the evidence on which tb:y are founded.
Thus at present, if a man shall write or speak against certain principles, and stile them pernicious, it will be thought a sufficient vindication' of them to make a beaten common-place encomium on liberty us conscience and freedom of enquiry. Blessed be God, this great and sacred privilege is well secured lo us in this nation: But pray, is it not mine as well asyours ? And is it not the very exercise of this liberty, fjr every man to endeavor to support those principles which appear to him to be founded on Reason and Scripture, as well as to attack without scruple every thing which he believes to be contrary to either.
Let it also be observed, that if freedom of inquiry be a blessing at all, it can be so for no other reason than the excellence and salutary irftavnce of real truth, when it can be discovered. If truth and error are couany safe, nothing can be more foolish than for a man to waste his time in endeavoring to distinguish the one from the other. What a view does