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النشر الإلكتروني

BX 5097

T24 1841

ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY,

AND THE

DOCTRINES OF THE OXFORD TRACTS

FOR THE TIMES.

BY TIIE

AUTHOR OF “SPIRITUAL DESPOTISM."

Imo vero Sarctam Scripturam in summo et cælesti autoritatis culmine
collocatam, de veritate ejus certus ac securus legam.

A UGUSTINUS HIERONS MO.

VOL. II.

SECOND EDITION.

LONDON:
JACKSON AND WALFORD,

18, st. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD.
W. CURRY, JUN. & CO. DUBLIN.

PREFACE

TO

THE SECOND VOLUME.

(THE CONSERVATIVE OPERATION OF CHURCH

FORMULARIES.)

QUESTIONS difficult to be determined in the abstract, and which perhaps will never be resolved in that form, are often, and with much advantage, superseded by the occurrence of events that serve to present them as simple questions of fact, concerning which a doubt can scarcely be entertained--or, at least, will not be entertained by men of a practical turn of mind.

Are Creeds, Confessions, Articles of Faith, and other ecclesiastical provisions, intended for the conservation of religious principles, and the maintenance of uniformity of belief, actually availing for these ends ; or is their admitted utility, in this respect, overbalanced by their tendency to obstruct the development of Truth, and to promote insincerity in the profession of belief?

This question seems now as little likely as ever to be resolved in its abstract form ; and well may we excuse ourselves from the attempt so to determine it.

Practically, and virtually, every religious community takes for itself the affirmative side, and in one mode or in another-directly, or indirectly, gathers itself around some

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