Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

TO HER

MAJESTY

THE QUEEN.

MADAM,

Having received your gracious permission to dedicate this

work to Your Majesty, I offer it as an expression of dutiful allegiance,

and of loyal attachment, from one who earnestly prays, in submission to the

Highest Will, that the great purposes for which you hold your exalted

station, may continue to be faithfully and successfully carried on, under

your just and beneficent sway, when he, and others much younger than

himself, shall have been removed from the scenes of time.

For more than forty years it has been my endeavour to promote the

improvement of society, under the solemn responsibilities of religion, and

under the guidance of its sacred directions. To observe this improvement

advancing as it has done for the last twenty years, and now to see the

aims of benevolence, in various directions, either actually achieved, or tending towards their full and effective accomplishment, is a high reward

to those who long laboured in hope and in faith. To many of these

persons, no external reward could ever have been in view; still less could

they have looked forward to a participation, under any change of

circumstances, in those distinctions and emoluments which it is in the

power of a Sovereign to bestow

Debarred by my profession, in connection with my religious opinions,

from sharing in those public advantages which services in education, and

other exertions for social welfare, frequently obtain, it was not perhaps

unreasonable that I should desire an honour which is wholly unconnected

with those advantages, and which Your Majesty has been graciously

pleased to confer.

On ascending the throne of these realms, Your Majesty made the joy

inspiring declaration, that you would consult the welfare of All classes

of your subjects. I am happy, as well as grateful, that, in granting the

permission which I sought, Your Majesty has shown that no religious

denomination among your subjects will be without a portion of that kind

consideration which you can manifest without compromising your own

individual convictions, and without interfering with those claims which

are given to others by the law of the land.

If the following Work had been founded upon, or had been intended to

teach, the distinctive opinions which I hold as a Unitarian Christian, I

would on no account have solicited the honour of dedicating it to Your

Majesty. But I am fortified by the published statement of a Divine of

the Established Church, distinguished as a defender of its doctrines,

honoured by his scientific rank, and greatly esteemed for his personal

character, in representing my work as in no sense doctrinal in its nature.

If my own peculiarities of religious belief have ever biassed me in it, I am

not conscious of the fact. But, Madam, there is, as Divines of your own

Church have expressed it, a common Christianity ;

and

my

labours

in this volume have been directed to illustrate this, under the influence

of reverence and love for our common Saviour. I hope it will be found,

as expressed by the American Reviewer quoted in my Preface, that the

Author seems never to forget, and he never lets his reader forget, that it

is a holy record he is analyzingthe history of the Son of God that

he is illustrating."

Of Your Majesty it may, I trust, be truly said, that "from a child

you have known the Holy Scriptures," and that you have cherished that

sense of accountableness which they impress upon the faithful heart.

This will continually lead to the earnest contemplation of the character,

and to the self-application of the word, of him who is appointed to be the Judge of all; and should this volume prove of any aid to Your

Majesty, in those serious pursuits which are needed, by every one, to

prevent the undue influence of the world which passeth away," it will

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »