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PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,

No. 82 CLIFF-STREET.

1836.

HUP

PUBLIC LIBRARY
153786

ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS,

1893

[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by

HARPER & BROTHERS,
in the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York.]

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Thoughts On The Religious State OF THE Country; with Reasons FOR PREFERRING EpisCOPACY. By the Rev. Calvin Colton. 12mo.

PRE FACE

TO

THE NEW EDITION.

The author would be very ungrateful, if he did not highly appreciate, and if he should not acknowledge, the favour with which the public have been pleased to receive his work on Great Britain. He now submits the second edition, in a form more economical, and thus better adapted for a wider circulation, with corrections of discovered faults, and some additions.

C. COLTON. New-York, April, 1836.

INTRODUCTION.

THERE are three capital and leading principles, not to speak of more, which distinguish American society from British and European. These are, an abjuration of monarchy, of an aristocracy, and of a union of religion with the arm of secular power. Each of these topics will be found prominent on these pages in their place.

In regard to the last, I have done little else than to exhibit a chapter of facts, showing the operation, the tendency, and the results of a union of church and state. Having submitted that chapter to some friends, since it was too late to profit by their hints, they have said to me, “ This is, indeed, a sad picture, and yet a suitable disclosure ; but we should like also if you had shown us more of that bright side which pure Christianity leads to, and if you had done more to secure all minds against a tendency to the conclusion, that religion is identified with such abuses."

I am glad that this suggestion affords me an opportunity of saying a word here on this point. Perhaps I am wrong; but I believe, from all the observation I have been able to make, that Christianity is fully established in the respect and affections of the mass of the people of Christendom, and that, too, notwithstanding all its corruptions, and all the terrible tragedies that have been enacted on the credit of its name, and under the sanctions of its authority. By consequence, and in the natural course of things, Christianity may be regarded as established in the favourable opinion of the world. I believe that this respect and affection can never again be shaken or disturbed. Infidelity has seen the worst on the one side, and done the worst on its own. It was itself the child of a corrupt religion, and has already, by a direct and indirect influence, nearly strangled its own parent. Pure Christianity it cannot injure. Christianity may injure itself, and has done so in

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