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J. Here is reason to believe that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper may be worthily received, and its benefits fully enjoyed, by all persons of good dispositions, though they should not be furnished with clear and precise ideas of its nature. Ne* vertheless it is desirable, for the sake of avoidingboth carelessness and superstition, that right notions of it should be disseminated, if possible, among all classes of the people. This indeed is now become more expedient than ever, since divines of high rank in the Church, and of great re

B putation putation in letters, have lately employed their talents in detracting from its dignity, and in denying or extenuating its use. Of this conduct, which I cannot but call, in the gentlest terms, imprudent and pernicious, Bishop Hoadly gave the example. No book indeed was ever more completely answered, than the Plain Account of the Sacrament written by this celebrated prelate. The victory of his opponents was undisputed, and the book condemned to oblivion by the public voice. But its doctrines have been recently revived, and, by a peculiar mode of publication, obtruded on the notice of the common people. A large volume filled with dull debate, depreciating the Sacrament, is not likely to be called for by the unlearned: therefore, lest the importantdiscoveries, originally published in such a volume, should remain unnoticed, its essence is extracted by its author, and charitably vended in a pamphlet of few pages, for the accommodation of the poor and needy *.

* See Dr. Bell's Practical Enquiry, price four-pence, an abridgment of his volume on the Sacrament, adapted to poor and pious Persons as a manual or guide to thfc Ajjar.

I engag*

I engage in no personal controversy. But I express a strong sentiment of disapprobation, that some of the learned, who, as ecclesiastics, were bound to defend the doctrines to which they had solemnly assented, have joined the Socinians in derogating from the most sacred and important rite of our Religion. I deplore their error, and, as far as I am able, will counteract its effects. In the progress of my attempt, I shall have occasion to quote some passages from their writings; and, from these it will appear that every faithful member of the Church, every sincere believer of Christianity, is bound to discourage, as far. as his influence extends, the prevalence of their degrading doctrine. I acquit the writers of all malice. They may be actuated by the love of singularity, they may be secretly inclined to infidelity, they may be disguised enemies of the Establishment, of which they are members, and thus endeavour to sap its foundation; but I judge them not: to Heaven are their motives known; be it mine merely to remonstrate against their B 2 opinions opinions on the Sacrament, as the opinions of fallible men, doing involuntary mischief from mistake.

The tide of the times runs strongly against every thing mysterious in Christianity; and the efforts of these professed friends to it, who endeavour to diffuse among the common people, low ideas of the Sacrament, increase the rapidity of the torrent. Their books are eagerly seized, praised, and laughed at by the Socinian, the sceptic, and the infidel; each of whom rejoices to see his cause promoted by persons whose duty and profession should lead them to oppose it, with weapons furnished from the united armouries of Reason and Scripture. Infidelity cannot fail to gain ground, when the constituted Guardians of the Faith are thus eager to surrender the citadel, without even the formality of a siege. Champions of the Church have struck their flag without a summons; and granted lavishly where concession was scarcely demanded.

But it is obvious to observe that, the manners and temper of the age render all the recent endeavours to lower the myste

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