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ON

Protestant Nonconformity.

BY JOSIAH CONDER.

“ We are to be concerned for this interest, not merely as the cause of
a distinct party, but of trath, honour, and liberty; and I will add, in a great
measure, the cause of serious piety too.

DODDRIDGE

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR JOSIAH CONDER, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD,

MDCCCXVIII.

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BOOK III.

ON THE RITES AND SERVICES OF THE CHURCH.

CHAP. I.

The Rule of Public Worship.

Protestant

$1. When Martin Luther first published Tho sufici. his ninety-five theses against Indulgencies, no- Scriptures

, thing could be more remote from his thoughts, tion-stone of than any project of delivering his countrymen ism. from the Papal thraldom. Could he have anticipated the consequences of that bold measure, he would have shrunk with horror from the prospect. At that period, he entertained no suspicion against the Divine origin of the Papacy. His professions of dutiful respect for the authority of the Holy See were perfectly sincere; nor was it till the unjust and oppressive measures taken by the Court of Rome to silence him, had put him upon the necessity of self-defence, that he proceeded to examine the principles upon which his unconditional submission was exacted ; and, pushing on his in

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quiries and attacks, from one doctrine to another, began at length to shake the very foundations of the Romish Church.

The discovery of truth, in all cases in which it is not fortuitous, is an achievement of great difficulty, although, having once been discovered, truth of all kinds may be apprehended with ease.

This is particularly the case with regard to those grand but simple propositions, which rank among the first principles of moral science. They were arrived at by slow and painful efforts; while they who were the instruments of eliciting them, were not, in many instances, fully conscious of the nature of the discovery. They were in the situation of a mariner driven by the exigencies of pursuit or bad weather, to harbour in some.unknown position, the general features of which he has not time to explore; his only object being the present shelter it affords, and leaving it to others, who may follow in the same track, to avail themselves of its natural advantages. The most splendid actions, those which have been attended by the most beneficial results to mankind, have seldom taken their rise in enlarged views of the principles which they involve. The first step has been taken under the impulse of duty; and it has not been till the individuals were called upon to combat its consequences, that general principles have begun to occupy their attention.

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