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and Soul, that Purity of Life and Converfation, which the Christian Religion most exprefly recommends, and by which it is best recommended, had been more becoming a Man, that calls himself a Minister of the Gofpel, than to revive old Controverfies, tending to whet Men's Minds one against another, and to excite a Fierce Zeal for Rites and Ceremonies of Human Invention; which, where it most prevails, is obferv'd to prey on the Vitals of Religion, to deftroy Love, the Characteristick of Chriftianity, and to e one of the worst Neighbours to Truth and Virtue.
THIS Obfervation is verified by the prefent State of fome Countries, where the leaft Appearance of Truth is too often immediately crusht by Power in the Hands of those whofe Interest 'tis to fupprefs it: And, even in this Nation, within the Memory of many yet living, Truth could not appear unlicenc'd without Danger.
BUT, bleffed be God, the Cafe here is alter'd: The general Liberty of Confcience we now enjoy, under a mild and prudent Administration, gives her a just Freedom: The Effect of which has been fuch an Improvement of Chriftian Love and Charity among us, as hath in a great Measure allay'd Religious Heats for differing Opinions, which always increase in Proportion to the Oppofition they meet with.
Truth delights in Peace, and to spread her felf in a loving and familiar, rather than a polemick or controverfial Manner; but when mistaken Men do publickly oppose her, a just Defence is necessary, to shew them their Error, and prevent the spreading it.
THIS, we think, a fufficient Reason for publishing the following Answer, to an Adversary who profeffes to write with Temper, without any Railing and Reviling, or bitter virulent Expreffions, and perfonal Reflections; a Rule, 'tis hop'd, we have closely kept to,
and which we wish himself had not tranfgrefs'd.
As his Work is principally a Revival of old Charges, we apprehend no Defence more rational, than fuch as is taken from the Writings of those he has accus'd; their own Words being the beft Evidences of his perverting them.
THE End we propose, is the right Information of himself and others, concerning a People found in all the Doctrines of Chriftianity, Lovers of Sobriety and Virtue, and deferving better Ufage, than he has thought fit to give them.
WE freely fubmit what we have written to the Confideration of every impartial Reader, who will form his own Judgment, without Refpect of Perfons, by the Merits of the Caufe.
The Vicar having prefixed to his Book the
William Penn, 3, 4, 27,
PAGE 13. line 6. for 11. 5. read 2. 1. p. 23. l. 17. for 23. read 13. p. 39. 1. 19. for Cor. read 1 Cor. p. 140. 1. 5. for were read where. p. 147. 1. 26. for out read our. p. 181. 1. 27. for part read paft. p. 185. 1. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. dele the Comma's. p. 186. 1. 23. for 1 John read fohn. p. 188. in the Margin, for lanecâ read lanceâ. p. 2c6.1.13. for then read when. p. 221. 1. 17. dele not. p. 224, 1. 27. for be read are to be. p. 228. 1. 32. for Hamon read Haman. p. 250. 1. 15. for Hour read Hours. p. 260. 1. 3. for Merits read Mercies. ibid. 1. 25. for the Period put a Semicolon. p. 282. 1. 17. for Occafion read Omiffion. p. 286. 1. 7. for 15. read xvi. 15. p. 290.1. 16. for xx. read xxviii. p. 331. 1.3 for include read conclude. p. 368. 1. 29, 30. for their read his. ibid. 1. 29, 30, 31. dele the Comma's. p. 370. l. 11. dele the Comma after teftify. p. 372. l. 14. for away read a Way.
Such other Typographical Errors as may occur, the Reader is defired to correct with his Pen,