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PREFACE

TO THE

THIRD EDITION.

MY bookseller having solicited me to republish this little treatise, I have corrected the typographical errors of the last edition, and enlarged some passages of the work itself.

The attempt of a late bishop of Clog. her to propagate Arianism in the church of Ireland, induced me to keep the doc. trine of the trinity in my thoughts for some years; and I had a particular at. tention to it, as often as the scriptures either of the Old or New Testament, were before me. This little book was the fruit of my study; of which I have seen some good effects already,and ought not to despair of seeing more before I die. Many other observations have occur

B

red to me since the first publication, which I should willingly have added. But some readers might have been discour. aged, if I had presented them with a book of too large a size: and the merits of the cause lie in a small compass.

The republication of this work, though merely accidental, is not unseasonable at this time, when we are taught from the press,* (and the author seems to be very much in earnest) that the only sure way of reducing Christianity to its primitive purity, is to abolish all creeds and articles. But the great rock of of. fence, with this writer, is the trinity; to get rid of wbich, he would at once dissolve our whole ecclesiastical constitution and form of worship.

This wild project furnishes a melancholy confirmation of the censure passed on us by some learned Protestants abroad; who have reflected upon England as a country productive of literary monsters;t where some old heresy is frequently rising up, as old comets

* In a new work, entitled The Confessional. Carpzov. Pref. in Pseudo Critic: Z'histoniis

have been supposed to do, with new and potentous appearances. And the reader whose sight can penetrate through the vehement accusations of Popery, bigotry, persecution, imposition, and other fiery vapours with which this author hath surrounded his performance, will discover little, if any thing, more than Arinism at the centre.

The scripture is the only rule that can enable us to judge, whether that or the Catholic doctrine of the trinity is more agreeable to truth: therefore I have confined myself to this unexceptionable kind of evidence for the proof of the latter, and have made the scripture its own interpreter. But our adversaries, though they allow the sufficiency of the scripture, and unjustly pretend to distinguish themselves from us by insisting upon it, do nevertheless make such frequent use of a lower sort of evidence to bias com non readers, and shew the expediency of what they are pleased to call reformation; that I have thought proper to exhibit a specimen of their method of proceeding in that respect, by adding to this edition,

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