« السابقةمتابعة »
momentous character of the question here discussed, is an additional cause for selfdistrust and hesitation. We cannot speak or write on such a subject, without remembering that our words affect the very foundations of men's religious belief, that a false view must in this case influence the whole tenor of the Christian's hope and practice. And therefore I would say in all honesty, that it is in trembling that I venture to speak thus decidedly on these solemn things.
My grounds for my confidence and bold. ness are these ; that the sentiments which I have endeavoured to advocate are regarded by multitudes of the wise and good of the present and past ages as the very corner-stone of the Protestant faith; that I am encouraged to make this attempt by men of far greater age and experience than myself, for whose judgment I cannot but feel great deference; that having been called by the circumstances of God's Providence to the repeated examination of the question, I have experienced a daily increasing conviction, that the views here
maintained are sanctioned not only by the great body of the reformers and martyrs of our Church, and by many other most holy men, but by God Himself; and lastly, that no connected view of the arguments here adduced has been put forward by any man more entitled through his years and station to undertake the task at the present juncture. Whoever we are, too, our spirits must burn within us, when we behold a theory rapidly spreading in the Church of Christ, which we humbly, but firmly, believe to be in no slight degree injurious to the progress of the Gospel of God.
If I have spoken presumptuously or dogmatically; or have misrepresented the views of person; or have in
any way violated that Christian charity which we are bound to practise, even when combatting sentiments against which we feel ourselves compelled earnestly to struggle ; I do most sincerely grieve that I have been betrayed into such evil doing. And I earnestly desire to be enabled to pray, in all singleness of heart, that I may not be
the means of leading one mind astray, or of casting the faintest shade upon the brightness with which the pure truth of God ought to shine upon this divided world.
Balliol College, Oxford,
April 11, 1838.
Scripture asserts its own sufficiency