« הקודםהמשך »
BY THE LATE REV. CHARLES BUCK.
CORRECTED TO 1851.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1951, by
CRISSY & MARKLEY, to the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
EDGE, is a great measure, forms the true dignity and happiness or s that by which he holds an honourable rank in the scale of being, ang he is rendered ca pable of adding to the felicity of his fellow.creatures empt, therefore, to enlarge its boundaries, and facilitate its acquisition. onsidered as worthy of our attention and regard. The present work
i to promote these valuable and important ends. in of conveying knowledge by dicijonaries has been long established, received in ihe republic of leiters. A dictionary, however, of a religione siastical nature, was still a desideratuin in the religious world; for we have had diciionaries which explained Scripture terms, ye it is these could not embrace the history of the church since the sacred canon cluded, nor explain the numerous terms which have been used; nor,
point out the various sects and denominations which have subsisted hat time, I do not mean, by these remarks, to depreciate the valuable above referred to: I am sensible of their excellences, and I have no wish dervalue them in order to exalt my own This work, however, is of a dif. it nature, as the reader will easilv ser, if he takes the trouble to compare exame. here inay, doubtless, be defects in this publication, which may have escaped
attention; but whoever cousilers the various books that inust have been risulted; the discriininations that were necessary to be made; the patient ivestigation required; and the toil of selecting, transcribing, and composing, must be convinced that it has been attended with no small difficulty. The ad. vantages, however, which my own mind derived from the work, and the proba. bility of its being useful to others, greatiy encouraged me in its prosecution. Besides, to be active, to be useful, to do something for the good of mankind, 1 have always considered as the honour of an intelligent being. It is not the stu. dent wrapt "pin metaphysical subtilties; it is not the recluse living in perpetual solitude; it is not the miser who is continually aniassing wealth, that can be considered as the greatest ornaments or the greatest blessings to hunan society: it is rather the useful than the shining talent that is to be coveted.
Perhaps it may be said, the work is tinctured too much with my own senti. ments, and that the theology is too antiquated to please a libera', philosophising and refined age. In answer to this, I observe, that I could do ncı other, as an honest man, than communicate what I believed to be the truth. It is a false liberality to asquiesce with every man's opnion, to fall in with every man's scheme, to tritle with error, or imagine there is no difference between one senti. ment and another: yet, notwithstanding this declaration, I trust the features of bigotry are not easily discernible in this work; and ihat, while I have endeavoured to carry the torch of Truth in iny hand, I have not forgotten to walk in the path of Candour.
It is almost needless here to say, that I have availed myself of all the writings of the best and most eminent authors I could obtain Whatever has struck me as important in ecclesiastical history; whatever good and accurate in definition; whatever just views of the passions of the human mind; whatever terms used in the religious world; and whatever instructive and impressive in the systems of divinity and moral philosophy, I have endeavoured to incorporate in this work. And in order to prevent its being a dry detail of terms and of dates, I have given the substance of what has been generally advanced on each subject, and occasionally selected some of the most interesting practical passages from our best and celebrated sermons. I trust, therefore, it will not only be of use to inform the mind, but impress the heart, and thus promote the real good of the reader. The critic, however, may be disposed to be cevere; and it will, perhaps, be easy for him to observe imperfectious But be this as it may: I can assure him I feel myself happy in the idea that the work is not intended to serve a party, to encourage bigotry, nor strengthen prejudice, but " for the service of
Truthi, by one who would be glad to atter and grace her triumphs; as her sol dier, if he has had the honour to serve successfully under her banner; or as a captive tied to her chariot wheels if he has, though undesignedly, committed any offence against her." After all, however, what a learned author said of another work I say of this :-"||' it have merit. il will go down to posterity; till it have none, the sooner it dies and is forgot the better”