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As for the rending of the church, we have many rea-
Neither can religion receive any wound by disgrace
VO L... II,
Printed for Mr. CADELL in the Strand;
Mr. John Barton,
S this Volume confifts of very inftructive treatifes, I infcribe it to you; both as a public acknowledgement of your favours to the Editor, and alfo that I may have an opportunity of exhorting you to zeal and ardour in afferting the principles of liberty.
You will here fee, that the christian religion which contains every motive to goodness perfonal and focial, and the
defign of which was to blefs all nations, and to make men univerfally good and happy, hath been so perverted and abused, as to become the inftrument of oppreffion and tyranny, and productive of those very evils that it was intended to prevent or remedy.
You will perceive that all thefe mifchiefs have arifen from investing its minifters with worldly power and dominion, contrary to the defign of its author, and to the precepts and pattern of his gofpel.
You will find, that the fe men fo degenerated from their first inftitution, as to fet up for ruling, inftead of inft ucting; and though they pretended a zeal for fouls, yet their behaviour plainly fhewed, that they cared not what became of fouls if they could but obtain power and wealth, the