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these questions into her hands, at the moment of their separation from each other, was accompanied, on the part of this Gentleman, with a strong expression of hope, that this would, one day or other, be the natural consequence; and with a confident assurance, that no Catholic could be possibly found capable of opposing to them any thing, like satisfactory answers.

How far the author of these pages has been able to succeed, in the attempt, it is not for himself, but for others to judge. It has been, at least his constant endeavor to follow, regularly, and faithfully, the path, which has been traced out for him, by the framer of the questions: and it has been his wish, as it has been his intention, not to appear to shrink from any difficulty, which has been suggested either by the ingenuity, or by the learning of his respectable opponent.

To the author of these letters, it is a subject of much sincere, und of much serious regret, that these questions should have fullen into hands, feeble, and inexperienced, like his own, Had they been more judiciously referred to the consideration of some man, possessing more moments of leisure, and distinguished

PREFACE.

by a greater extent of abilities and of learning, more ample justice would then have been done to the much injured cause of religion. Oppressed, as from the nature of his situation, he is, with a multiplicity of not unimportant concerns, the time, which he is able to devote io other pursuits, is but little; and that little ke is often compelled to snatch, at broken and uncer. tain intervals, from his usual hours of repose, or from a wide circle of various professional duties.

If under these discouraging circumstances, the author has thus ventured to appear before the public, it is, because he has been induced to resign his own feelings to the too partial solicitations of some very respectable friends; and because he is never disposed, either to regret his own labours, or to shrink from the dread of human censure, if he can hope, that one Christian soul may be led, by his means, to a clearer knowledge of the truth, or one prejudice be removed from one mind.

If, in the warmth of discussion, one word has escaped him, which can give a moment of pain, to the author of the questions, or to uny other man; or if, in the progress of his inquiries, one expression has incautiously dropt from his pen, which becomes not the character either of a Christian, or of a Gentleman, he regrets it sincerely, and he takes this opportunity of requesting that it

inay be ascribed, not to design, but to the unavoidable circumstances of inadvertency, or of hurry. It is the opinion of the author, and he hopes, that his conduct will ever be under the influence of that opinion, that no divisions among men, even on the subject of religion itself, can go to justify even a momentary departure, either from the tender duties of charity, or from the rules of politeness, and good breeding

Bath, Jan. 22, 1814.

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