« PreviousContinue »
PROVING THAT THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH WAS
By JOSEPH PRIESTLEY, LL. D. F. R.S.
AC. IMP. PETROP. R. PARIS. HOLM. TAURIN. AUREL. MED.
Antiquam exquirite matrem.
-Αγραφοις χρήσασθαι φωναις· διο σχεδόν η πασα γεγονε
συγχυσις τε και ακατασία των εκκλησιών.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR, BY PEARSON AND ROLLASON,
MRS. RAY NER,
SUNBURY, in MIDDLESEX.
OUR known zeal for the cause in the defence of which this work is compofed is my motive for prefixing your name to it. It is a great and important question that is now in agitation, and it is but justice that pofterity should, if poffible, be made acquainted with the names of those zealous advocates of truth, whofe exertions
exertions, though not in the character of writers, have yet, in various other ways, contributed to its fuccefsful fpread. In this honourable clafs I know of few that are intitled to ftand before that of Mrs. Rayner.
Such is our focial nature, that those who are actuated by the pureft love of truth, and whofe views are the most fingle, feel, and therefore, in fome degree, want the additional motive which arifes from the concurrence of others, in a caufe in which the world in general is against them. But a very few, united in a love of truth, of the importance of which they are deeply fenfible, will eafily bear up against any combination. Numbers, power, wealth, long establishment, fashion, intereft, and every other advantage on the
side of error, inspire no fear or distrust, but rather give courage to the small band that fight under the banners of truth and right. The contest itself is glorious, and their confidence of final success makes them easy, and even joyful, under all opposition.
Believing, as I am persuaded that you, Madam, as well as myself, do, that a wise Providence super-intends all events, guiding the thoughts and pursuits of every individual to the most proper object, and in the most proper time, we rejoice in seeing every question of great moment, and especially those relating to tbeology, become the subject of interesting discuf
well knowing that it is a prelude to the enlargement of the minds of men, the detection of error, and the propaga