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VARIOUS IMPORTANT SUBJECTS:

WRITTEN PARTLY ON SUNDRY OF THE MORE DIFFI
CULT PASSAGES IN THE

SACRED VOLUME.

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BY REV. ANDREW LEE, A. M.

PASTOR OF THE NORTH CHURCH IN LISBON, CONNECTICUT.
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"I KNOW BUT ONE BOOK, THAT CAN JUSTIFY OUR IMPLICIT AC-
QUIESCENCE IN IT; AND ON THAT BOOK, A NOBLE DISDAIN OF
UNDUE DEFERANCE TO PRIOR OPINION-CASTS NEW AND INES-

TIMABLE LIGHT."Young.

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PRINTED at WORCESTER :

BY ISAIAH THOMAS, JUN.

Sold by him, and by the AUTHOR, in Lisbon, Connecticut-Sold alfo by faid

THOMAS & WHIPPLE, at their Bookstore in Newburyport.

[COPYRIGHT SECURED ACCORDING TO LAW.]

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1803.

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PREFACE.

THAT thick darkness overprfead the church after the irruptions of the northern barbarians, and the defolations which they occafioned in the Roman empire, is known and acknowledged. Thofe conquerors profeffed the religion of the conquered; but corrupted and Spoiled it. Like the new Jettlers in the kingdom of Ephraim, they feared the Lord and ferved their own gods. In thofe corruptions Antichriftian error and domination originated. The tyranny of opinion became terrible, and long held human minds enflaved. Few had fentiments of their own. The orders of the vatican were received as the mandates of heaven. But at laft fome difcerning and intrepid mortals arofe who faw the abfurdity and impiety of the reigning fuperftition, and dared to difclofe them to a wondering world! Among those bold reformers, LUTHER, CALVIN and a few contemporary worthies, hold a diftinguished rank. Greatly is the church indebted to them for the light which they diffufed, and the reformation which they effected. But fill the light was imperfect. Dark Shades remained. This particularly appeared in the dogmatifm and bigotry of thefe fame reformers, who often prohibited further inquiries, or emendations! They had dif fered from Rome, but no body must differ from them! As though the infallibility which they denied to another, had been transferred to themselves!

Too many others, and in more enlightened times, have difcovered a frange measure of the fame Spirit.....a Spirit which hath damped inquiry and prevented improvement. HENCE, probably, the filence of fome expofitors on difficult fcriptures, and the famenefs obfervable in fome others For the complaint of the poet is not without reafon,

"That commentators each dark paffage fhun,
And hold their farthing candle to the fun."

AND the famenefs which we fee in feveral writers is probably dictated by fear of fingularity, and of incurring the charge of herefy. Minds are different. When a dozen expofitors interpret a difficult text alike, they must, for fome reafon, have borrowed from one another.

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