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The great majority of readers in this bustling age profess to have no leisure, and certainly evince no inclination to peruse bulky volumes, no matter how superior their merit may be.

It is chiefly to this busy restless class that the writer addresses himself and he craves their earnest attention. That his appeal may be more favorably received, and may meet with the success which he hopes for, he has endeavored to compress within as small a compass as possible, a variety of subjects which he considers of vital consequence to all men who take a serious view of the solemn duties and of the sublime destiny of human life.

He has reasons to fear that in aiming to be brief, he may have occasionally been wanting in clearness and precision. Nor is he without grave misgivings that owing to the incessant interruptions occasioned by the imperative work of the ministry, some of the questions he has discussed, may not have been treated with the fulness which their importance demands. He confesses in truth that this consideration had for some time,

deterred him from venturing to submit these pages to the judgment of a discerning public.

He hopes, however, that the few scattered fruits which the reader will gather from this little garden, may whet his appetite for a more abundant feast, and may allure him to enter other fields where his hunger for truth and righteousness will be fully appeased.


November 6th, 1889.



This book is not polemical. It does not deal with the controversies that have agitated the Christian world since the religious convulsion of the sixteenth century. It does not, therefore, aim at vindicating the claims of the Catholic Church as superior to those of the separated branches of Christianity—a subject that has already been exhaustively treated.

It has nothing to say against any Christian denomination that still retains faith in at least the divine mission of Jesus Christ. On the

On the contrary, I am glad to acknowledge that most of the topics discussed in this little volume have often found, and still find able and zealous advocates in Protestant writers.

And far from despising or rejecting their support, I would gladly hold out to them the right hand of fellowship, so long as they unite with us in striking the common foe. It is pleasant to be able to stand sometimes on the same platform with our old antagonists.

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