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PREFACE.

STRICT propriety seldom allows an author to obtrude upon the public the circumstances that may have attended and controlled his literary labours. Yet the rule may give way to special reasons; and in the present instance the reader is requested courteously to admit an exception.

More than twelve years ago the Author projected a work which should at one view exhibit the several principal forms of spurious or corrupted religion. But discouraged by the magnitude and difficulty of such a task, he after a while, yet not without much reluctance, abandoned the undertaking. Nevertheless the subject

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