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ASTOR, LENOX AND
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, TO WIT:
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the first day of July, in the thirty seventh year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1813, Rev. Jackson Kemper, John Perot, and Charles N. Bancker, of said district have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors in the words following, to wit: Lectures on the Catechism of the Protestant Episcopal Church. With Supplementary Lectures; one on the Ministry, the other on the Publick Service. And Dissertations on Select Subjects in the Lectures. By William White, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In conformity to the act of the congress of the United States, intituled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.”—And also to the act, entitled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned," and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania.
The copy right of this work is held in trust, for the apply. ing of the proceeds (if any) to the use of "The Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania."
OF several ways essayed by the author, at different times, for the discharge of an obvious parochial duty, the delivery of the following Lectures was one. They were drawn up not for the press, but for annual delivery during Passion Week, and on the week day holidays of Easter; with an accommodation to the administering of the rite of confirmation, in that season: and they have been accordingly so delivered in three successive years, to numerous and respectable audiences. It is not necessary to detail the reasons which have so far changed the original plan, as to occasion the present publication.
The principal design in the Lectures, was to prepare the minds of young persons for confirmation, by opening and proving the constituent doctrines and duties of Christianity held by Christians generally; all of which are here conceived to come within the scope of the short compend undertaken to be explained. For although in the line of belief, truth may be more unfolded in other institutions of the Church; this has arisen from the design of opposing to known errours, positions intended expressly to deny them: which hinders not, that the truths themselves may be found in the short formula of the Apostles' Creed.
The author does not hesitate to acknowledge, that he entertained the subordinate design of stating
to the members of his flock, the grounds which their Church takes on those points, on which she differs from other communions. He hopes that he has done this without misrepresentation, and in a charitable spirit. Certainly such was his design: and provided he could keep clear from errour in these two respects, he was the more ready to deliver his mind with freedom; from the circumstance, that throughout his ministry, he has been habitually reluctant to the introducing into the pulpit of any other subjects, than those which he considered as the essential truths of scripture, and on which Christians generally are agreed. He believes, that he has departed from this purpose but seldom; and then, only when the explanation of scripture required of him to do so: or when a litigated point came in, as a branch of a subject more acknowledged and more edifying. At the same time, he disavows the pretended species of liberality, which would deprive any religious truths of all aid from zeal and argument; and give these means up to be subservient only to the prejudices in opposition.
It cannot but be perceived, that the views here delineated extend not only to the Lectures on the Catechism, but to those added as Supplementary, and to the Dissertations.
The latter were occasioned by the importance of the subjects of them; and the very limited extent in which they could be treated of within the compass of the Lectures. It is not supposed, that the imperfection is supplied; but it may be hoped to have been lessened.