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our Dissenting brethren have adduced both in opposition to Ecclesiastical Establishments, and in defence of the Voluntary and Independent system. For this purpose, the Author commenced a search into the writings of Nonconformists; and, as he proceeded, noted down according to a previously arranged plan, with a minute reference to the volume and page, every thing which appeared deserving of attention. This was done with a view to refer the reader to the works from which the various objections and arguments were extracted; but upon arranging his materials, he found that even a selection from the accumulated mass would have crowded his pages with a distracting multiplicity of references, which, after all, could not be regarded in the light of authorities. He, therefore, resolved to content himself with one general reference; and has placed in an Appendix a list of the Dissenting writers consulted by him in the prosecution of his labours. As this examination has been somewhat extensive, and made with diligence, the principal of them having been read several times, he hopes that he has not overlooked any Scriptural argument of importance which they have advanced.
In collecting the evidence for a National and Episcopal Church, he has endeavoured to concentrate at least the principal Scripture testimonies relating to this branch of the subject. He has accordingly availed himself of all the helps within his reach; and a list of works in defence of the Church of England consulted by him is likewise placed in the Appendix.
A work of this kind cannot be altogether divested of a controversial cast; but it has been his anxious wish to make it as little so as possible. He has stated with, as he conceives, perfect fairness the adverse arguments on each matter in question, accompanied with such observations as may be useful in forming a sound judgment and decision. His sole aim has been to furnish a MANUAL FOR CHURCHMEN, who, if he have succeeded in his design, will find in it a complete Scriptural View of the whole controversy relating to the Constitution and Government of the Christian Church.
II. The magistrate's duty respecting it limited to the
kingdom over which he presides