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THE APOSTOLICAL AND EARLY
I HAD RATHER TRUST TO THE SHADOW OF THE CHURCH WHICH THE
J. Y. KNIGHT, LEEDS.
It has been very common with writers on divinity to deal tenderly with the errors of the early Christian fathers, and much might with propriety be urged in justification of the practice. There is that also, in the nature of past controversies, which will satisfactorily account for it. But, it cannot be concealed, that this forbearance of the Protestant divines is now taken advantage of by the Roman Catholics, and those who agree with them on the subject of the unwritten tradition of the church, and that it occasions considerable difficulty and inconvenience.
The following work is composed under a sense of this difficulty. The author began to peruse the writings of the early fathers with considerable doubt and hesitation, as to the mode in which their tradition ought to be received. And it occurred to him long before he had completed his undertaking, that a faithful exposure of their mistakes might subserve an useful purpose in the cause of Christianity.
As neither the author's time, nor his opportunities of