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NOTE H. On Isaiah ix. 6, 7.—1 Timothy iii. 16. and Matth.
THE FIRST EDITION.
"WHY publish a new Volume, on a subject which has already produced so many?"-Were I to answer this question by pleading the solicitations of friends, I should speak the truth; for such solicitations have been numerous, and some of them entitled to my highest deference. Yet I should present an apology, neither satisfying to the Public, nor to myself. For if an Author is not convinced, in his own judgment, that his work is either called for by particular circumstances, or likely to be serviceable to the cause of truth, he ought to possess sufficient fortitude to resist the wishes of others; and if he professes to publish in compliance with these wishes alone, he will find very few possessed of sufficient charity to give him credit.
When the Unitarian Chapel in this City was opened, and the Sermon " On the Grounds of Unitarian Dissent," which Mr. Yates had preached on that occasion, was given to the public, I happened, from an entirely different cause, to have my thoughts directed towards the principal points of the
Socinian controversy;-and, in revolving various subjects for a series of monthly Sabbath-evening Discourses, it occurred to me, that, at such a time, when the leading doctrines of Christianity were openly impugned and denied, and the sentiments of those who held them in many particulars grossly misrepresented, a short course on these points might be seasonable and useful.
Satisfied that we pay no compliment to our own sentiments, when we are startled by any apprehension of discussion possibly making proselytes to those of our opponents,-I could not acquiesce in the opinion, that the best way on such occasions is, to suffer error to pass in silence, and to fall of itself. I thought, and still think, that this procedure is giving to such error an undue advantage. It is putting it in the power of its advocates to say, that we dread investigation, and find it our wisdom to be quiet :-it is leaving the weak, the wavering, and the ill-informed, to be the dupes of misrepresentation, or a prey to the wiles of sophistry, and the imposing influence of high pretensions to learning and candour:—it is lulling the multitude of nominal professors of the truth in satisfaction with a vague and unexamined assent to a system, respecting which they hardly know what they say, or whereof they affirm:"-and to the far greater multitude of persons who do not think on these matters at all, it is furnishing a plausible excuse for continued carelessness. They will not take the trouble to examine what its professed adherents are not at the pains to defend; and they pursue their wonted course of thoughtless impiety, with one vacant reflection, suggested by what they see and hear, that " after all, these