« PreviousContinue »
should be wholly responsible for any deviation which might possibly occur from orthodox doctrine, than that the name of a Dignitary of the Church should in the slightest degree be called in question. Now however, since the Work has been so fortunate as to meet with the approbation of several, whom I cannot but look upon as in every respect competent judges; and especially, since almost immediately upon its publication it had the honour to receive the decided sanction of your GRACE's judgment, in recommending it to be placed upon the list of books from the perusal of which the Candidates for Holy Orders at Bishopthorpe might be conceived to derive benefit; I have presumed to solicit the liberty of placing your GRACE's name before it; both as thinking that it will be a great ornament and advantage to my Book, and as being desirous to acknowledge the sense which I entertain your GRACE's favourable opinion.
That the Work may prove of service to the Church of England, for that very important purpose to which your GRACE has been pleased to destine it; and to which indeed it was in some good degree originally directed ; is the hope and prayer, of,
Your GRACE's servant,
In all duty and respect,
Gilling Rectory, near York,
THE doctrines of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, ORIGINAL SIN, and PREDESTINATION, about which there has been, and now is, so much contest in the Church of Christ, have their foundation, principally, in certain passages of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. It follows, therefore, that the true, i. e. the SCRIPTURAL, statement of these doctrines, must depend, principally, upon a right understanding of that Epistle, and of those passages in particular in which the doctrines are found. And it was an earnest desire to become acquainted with the real truth of these doctrines, which
led the Author to a more particular study of the Epistle to the Romans.
Now it is a thing well known, that in addition to the common difficulties attending the interpretation of antient writings, LETTERS are subject to a difficulty peculiar to themselves. "The nature of Epistolary writings in general, (observes Mr. Locke, in his Essay for the understanding of St. Paul's Epistles) disposes the writer to pass by the mentioning of many things, as well known to him to whom his Letter is address'd, which are necessary to be laid open to a stranger, to make him comprehend what is said: and it not seldom falls out, that a well-penn'd Letter, which is very easy and intelligible to the receiver, is very obscure to a stranger, who hardly knows what to make of it."
THIS observation holds good, in an especial manner, of the APOSTOLICAL EPISTLES ;