A History of the Corruptions of Christianity

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    Saggistica, Religioni

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    23,2 MB

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The present work has long been out of print, though it is often sought for; and the few chance copies to be met with, command so high a price as to put it out of the power of most persons to possess it. It is published in the present style and form in order to render it accessible to other persons besides scholars and critics, and to give it a diffusion amongst laymen, who are interested in the great questions of theology. The controversy, to which the three first parts more particularly relate, may now seem to be over. It may be in some places. But in general, it is still proceeding, taking new forms indeed, but agitating deeply the bosom of the community, modifying creeds, dividing churches and sects, and crystallizing the solvent materials of society into new shapes and solids. Long after the heavy gusts of the storm have passed, the sea continues to roll. The object of publishing the work, is, to promote the cause of pure religion, by presenting the best, known historical view of those departures from the simplicity of Jesus Christ, which have been produced by the disturbing influences of human prejudices and philosophy. It will encourage the faith of every true Christian to see how the Sun of Righteousness slowly emerges from its long and disastrous eclipse, with unshorn rays, and the promise of shedding in due time upon the darkened nations the brightness of the perfect day. The Reformation was commenced, but was not completed by Luther and his associates. The process of purifying Christianity must be slow and gradual, as was the process of corrupting it. A history of the causes, operation, and extent of the corruptions, must be serviceable in procuring and applying their remedies, as, in medicine, the first step towards a cure is to know the disorder.<br><br>In re-publishing this work, no sect whatever is to be considered as implicated in the responsibility, but only those individuals, the Editor and the Publishers, who have acted in the matter. Again, because the work is deemed worthy of re-publication, it is not to be inferred that assent is given by those engaged in it, to every opinion, argument, and statement therein; though of course the book would not have been offered to the public, except on the ground of general agreement with its tenor, and a strong conviction of its merits and usefulness.

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