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CONTAINING A SUMMARY
EXPLANATION AND DEFENCE
DOCTRINES AND DUTIES
By JOSIAH HOPKINS, A. M.
« To the law and to the testimony." -ISAIAH.
PRINTED BY J. W. COPELAND.
DISTRICT OF VERMONT, to zil:
ber, in the fiftieth year of the Independence of the
United States of America, the Reverend JOSIAH
Hopkins of the said District, hath deposited in this
“ The Christiau's lostiucter, containing a summa. ry explanation and defence of the doctrines and duties of the Chris. tian Religion. By Josiah Hopkins, A. M Pastor of the Congrega. tional Church in New Haven, Vt. To the law and to the testimo. ny.'-- Isaiah." In conforunity to the act of the Congress of the Uni. ted States, 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."
Clerk of the District of Vermont.
J. GOVE, Clerk.
BOOKS have become so numerous, and the commencement of a new publication an event so common, that unless an author can promise something entirely new, either in the matter of his publication, or in its arrangement, he is considered as making an unreasonable demand on the publick if he expect his book to be read. The author of the following work, while he would hold out no very flattering promises of this kind, deems it his duty to state some of the reasons by which he was led to undertake it. Being repeatedly favoured with an opportunity to witness the interest which is taken by Christians in general, in the examination of men for licensure or ordination, he was led to inquire whether a work which should exhibit little niore than what is exhibited on these occasions, might not command so much interest as to be in many respects useful. Had it not been for the solicitation of friends on whose judgment he could not but place the most unshaken confi. dence, such a work would have been the extent of his endeavours. It is however a painful, but well-known fact, that the information of common Christians does not keep pace with the increase of books. It is true that their opportunities for obtaining books are far better than those enjoyed by their fathers; but their books in general seem better adapted to the student, than to the common Christian. Both on account of their own enjoyment and their usefulness in the world, they need clear and definite views of truth; but most of the books on the doctrines and practice of christianity at the present day, with their opportunities to read and examine, are not adapted to furnish them. Where a single branch of a subject is spread through a volume, it cannot be expected that men who have but little to spare, can be persuaded to purchase books of this kind sufficient to afford them any kind of a knowledge of their own faith, much less that definite and concise knowledge which they need. Neither will those who are favoured with competent teachers, while their minds are burdened with the cares and concerns of the present world, be able to remember from one week to another, so as to see the connexion and
agreement between the different parts of the system. The quences are, while the present age is fruitful in devices designed as weapons with which to oppose the truth, Christians are unarmed. They may have a confidence that their teachers are