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Creed, Biskop Wilkins, Stilling fleet's Origines Sacra, Dr. Barrow, Dr. Bently, Dr. Williams, Parsons's Directory by Stanhope, &c.
In this undertaking I have not aimed at sublimity of language, being well aware of my own inability; nor was it my wish had I even been equalto the attempt ; as I designed this book principally for such of the laity who have not the opportunity of reading larger and better tracts of divinity; and who perhaps may often hear the sacred truths of religion (in the belief and practice of which they hope for salvation) called in question or ridiculed ; and not having that particular point fairly and clearly explained, their faith is shaken, and they disqualified. For this reason, therefore, I have undertaken this work, and have attempted to handle fome even controverted points of the present day. Most of the sentiments herein delivered are the instructions and doctrines of those pious worthies, who, for their learning and probity, were stiled the fathers of the Church, and who living near the apostolic age are more likely to understand the true meaning, of several parts of religion, than we who think ourselves refined.
PA RT 1.
Of the Duties of the Christian Religion.
CHAPTER 1. Of Piety.
2. Of Faith.
3. Of Hope and Trust in God.
4. Of Charity.
5. Of Humility..
6. Of Temperance.
7. Of Contentment.
8. Of Consideration.
9. Of Praise and Thanksgiving.
• PART III.
Of the Precepts of the Christian Religion. CHAPTER 1. Of the Love of God.
2. Of the Love of our Neighbour. 3. Of private Devotion. 4. Of public Worship. 5. Of Repentance. 6. Against Swearing. 7. Of the Sacraments. 8. Of Baptism. 9. Of the Lord's-Supper. 10. Of the Mortification of the Passions. II. Of Death, and the Preparation for it. 12. Of the Qualification of the heavenly Life.
P ART I.
OF THE DOCTRINES OF THE CHRISTIAN
CH A P T E R I.
Of Natural Religion.
D ELIGION or divine worship has been
R in every age, and still continues to be, the primary concern and principal meditation of the wise and considerate : impressed with a sense of gratitude and praise for the blessings they enjoy, and anxious for their future welfare, they esteem all other things to be only of a secondary and subordinate importance.
Many and very different have been the ways invented by mankind for the discharge of this duty; and these not only among the unenlightened, where nature was their only guide, but even amongst the happier nations who are blessed with the revealed will of God. The various and whimsical ceremonies adapted by the Gentiles, are very expressive of their ignorance of God; and
even the modes of worship practised by the
Is it at all wonderful that mankind of their own accord should be led to give praise and adoration, when they contemplate the * mighty works of the visible creation, and observe the beauteous order .of nature ? From a proper observation of such things as strike the outward senses, they are in