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The Works of the Rev. Edward Williams, D.D, Vol. 2 (Classic Reprint)

The Works of the Rev. Edward Williams, D.D, Vol. 2 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Edward Williams, D.D, Vol. 2

In fact, the Christian Church has been shamefully abused by extravagant opinions and superstitious ceremonies, which may well raise the indignation of a mind in love with the sacred authority of Scripture and rational devotion and this has occasioned some, in the height of their antipathy and pious zeal, to ?y into the opposite extreme of adhering to the mere letter of Divine laws, to the neglect of their true spirit. But this is not all; what was designed as a preventive to the former disease, becomes itself, in common with it, the occasion (or, shall he say, the culpable cause?) of a malady far more dangerous. Among other prejudices, says a shrewd observer, who, hiding himself behind the scene, attentively watched their motions, among other prejudices, there is one of a particular nature, which you must have observed to be one of the greatest causes of modern irreligion. Whilst some opinions and rites are carried to such an immodera te height as exposes the absurdity of them to the view of almost everybody but them who raise them, not only gentlemen of the belles lettres, but even men of common sense many times see through them and then out of indignation and an excessive renitence, not separating that which is true from that which is false, they come to deny both, and fall back into the contrary extreme, a contempt of all religion in general.

He should be very sorry if what is advanced in the following Examination Should in any measure violate the sacred bond of Christian charity and friendship that subsists between him and, in this instance, his differing brethren; with several of whom he Wishes to preserve and cultivate a fraternal affection. And those of them who bear the ministerial character, with whom he agrees in weightier points of evangelical truth, are welcome to his pulpit, his house, and his heart; and none would be more so, according to his present views, than the author of the Reign of Grace, and Paedobaptism Examined.

He now submits the performance to the impartial judgment of the candid public, and implores the blessing of God on every grain of truth contained in it, for the reader's real benefit.

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