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unseasonable, while so important an ordinance continues to be neglected by so large a proportion of Christians.
Without invidious remarks on any former works on this subject, it cannot but be obvious that some have a tendency to foster self-righteousness, or to make preparation not only so tedious and troublesome as to be impracticable for persons engaged in the ordinary concerns of life, but, as Bishop Beveridge expresses it," so nice and ticklish a thing, that they despair of ever observing all the little rules which are laid down, and therefore seldom, or never, trouble their heads about it."
The author, wbile he has gladly availed himself of the help afforded by the Treatises of others, has endeavoured to take the scriptures as bis only sure guide. He has had occasion to see, that the nature of this ordinance has been much mistaken from a neglect of that guide. In extracting passages from old authors, he has taken the liberty here and there of altering a word, or the construction of a sentence, to adapt it to more modern usage. Where he has varied the idea, he has generally noticed the passage as taken from others, by inverted commas, without quoting the authority; thus making himself responsible for the sentiment expressed.
The writer has seldom quoted the opinions of the Christian Fathers on the Sacrament, being convinced
that the holy scriptures are the only and the sufficient rule of faith to the church. He was anxious also not to swell his work, and not to make it controversial, instead of a practical and devotional book. Those who wish to see the sentiments of the Fathers GENERALLY, may consult the writings of Cranmer and Jewell. L'Arroque's History of the Sacrament gives a full account of their sentiments on its form of celebration, doctrine, and worship. Waterland's Treatise
on the Eucharist, gives their sentiments on the DOC
Antiquities, on the DISCIPLINE of the Church re
specting it. These writers sufficiently establish the
point, that the doctrines and practices peculiar to the
Roman Catholics have no support in the primitive
fathers, whose statements in the main concur with those of the Protestant churches, and particularly of the Church of England. Cranmer's Treatise on the Sacrament is well worth reading by every one;
but readers in general will find little interest or profit from controversial treatises.
It is generally known that this institution was
one of the chief points in controversy with the Pro-
The Author has almost wholly abstained from
that controversy, being persuaded that the plain statement, and the scriptural proof of truth, is her