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perceive the names of their favourite authors, as of doubtful tendency; who deem every one who is not declaredly of their party, as a certain enemy to all the doctrines which their party has most zealously espoused; and all who oppose its doctrines as in a state of utter reprobation. By such she will probably be at all events condemned. But as she would not willingly incur the disapprobation of any worthy person, she does not scruple to advance the plea of ignorance in mitigation of her offence. Of controversial theology she confesses herself to be deplorably ignorant, and despairs of ever being otherwise than ignorant; as, were she ever so much inclined to enter upon the study, she is too deficient in scholastic lore, to have any hopes of being able to pursue it, so as to become perfect mistress of all that has been said on both sides
of every question. Without such a degree of information, she should consider herself guilty of presumption and arrogance, were she to pretend to judge.
The opinions that are called orthodox, when rendered plain by being stripped of all technical phraseology, she finds in general exactly conformable to her own; but she embraces them, not because they are sanctioned by particular names, but because they seem to her to be consonant to Scripture. To the service of the church of England she for the same reason adheres, and would so adhere, whether it were proved or disproved that Calvin or his friends had a hand in composing it. But while she thus adheres to the church, she cannot, for the aforementioned reasons, think it incumbent upon her in her present state of ignorance, to enter the lists as its cham
pion, and to hurl defiance upon all who think they may be saved though they come not within its pale. Let those who have power for the contest, arm themselves for the combat; she has been taught to consider her sex as precluded from the field of strife. Nor is a sense of propriety the only motive that deters her from engaging in a war of controversy. Doubts concerning the consequences which such warfare might have upon her own mind, and upon the minds of others, would at all events impose restraint. From all she has observed, it appears to her, that, with whatever temper abstract propositions may be maintained by those who thoroughly understand them; they are seldom supported by those who have not that advantage, without some violence to the spirit of charity. The propositions may be just and true; but the zeal that
violates violates charity converts them into means of inflaming the pride and animosity of party. If the time ever arrives in which it shall be made clear to her that the spirit of party tends to advance the interests of religion, the spirit of party it will then become her duty to acquire. While her conviction leads to an opposite conclusion, no friendship for the individuals of which any party is composed; no respect for the talents, or the learning, or the worth of any who arrange themselves beneath its banners, will lead her to assume its badge. Her earnest wish is to see all Christians join in anxious endeavours to spread the knowledge and the spirit of the Gospel. Whoever labours in this vineyard ought not to look to the praise of their fellow-labourers, but to the Master of the vineyard for their reward. If the following little work is acceptable in his sight, it will have been accepted as a labour of love. It interferes with no one's opinions; it clashes with no one's interests. " It may be described in the words of the celebrated Bishop of Down and Connor in his epistle dedicatory to the sermons preached at the Golden Grove.
"The special design of the whole "is to describe the greater lines of "duty by special arguments; and if "any witty censurer shall observe "that I tell him nothing but what "he knew before, I shall be con"tented with it, and rejoice that he "was so well instructed; and wish "also that he needed not a remerm"brancer: — and that I profess not "to make curious inquiries after New "Nothings, but pursuances of Old