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J. Watts de Ley
Rose TIILL, Tivoli P. O., DUCHESS Co., :
1st January, 1868. MEMBER of the NETHERLANDISII LITERARY As.
[Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde]
den, Holland. HONORARY MEMBER of the MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SO
and of the PARENOKOSMIAN SOCIETY of PENNSYLVA, -A COLLEGE, Gettysburg; of the PuilosOPHIAN SOCIETY, Missionary Institute, Selins Grove, and of the EUTERPIAN SOCIETY, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsyl
vania, MEMBER of the New York and of the PENNSYLVANIA His
TORICAL SOCIETIES; MEMBER, Third Class, (UONORARY) of the MILITARY ORDER of the Loyal LEGION of the
United States. LIFE MEMPER of the HISTORICAL SOCIETY of MICHIGAN, and
of the NUMISMATIO and ARCHÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY of New
York. CORRESPONDING MEMBER of the STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETIES
of MAINE, of VERMONT, and of Wisconsin; of the Long ISLAND, and of the BUFFALO HISTORICAL SOCIETIES; of the New ENGLAND HISTORIC-GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY; of the QUEBEC LITERARY AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY; etc., etc., etc.
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Of the Tracts, Essays, &c. which are now presented to the public,—the two first, on the Divinity of Christ, and the Atonement, were published separately, many years ago, in reply to Dr. Priestley and others, who were engaged in writing and circulating small popular Tracts in opposition to these important doctrines of Christianity. Some account of the controversy, and of the success of these “ short defences" has been given in the Life of Mr. Hey, which was published in the early part of the present year.
The Moral Essays, Obituaries, &c. to page 487, appeared, at different periods, in “ The Christian Observer;" the papers which follow these pages are now printed for the first time. Mr. Hey, during the course of a long and active life, frequently committed
his thoughts on various subjects in divinity to paper; but he destroyed a considerable portion of these writings long before his death; not from any settled distrust of the soundness of his reasonings, but from a fear lest the freedom with which he had discussed some popular tenets, might be misunderstood, or misused, by any into whose hands the manuscripts might fall.
Truth in the understanding, and charity in the heart, are, perhaps, the most precious gifts which can be conferred upon the sons of men in their present state and condition; but although absolutely denied to none, they are found to exist with much inequality, both in their measure and in their relative
proportions. Knowledge and grace are not inseparable; for genuine piety may subsist with obscure and inadequate conceptions, and much confusion of thought; but where that is conjoined with modesty and due humility, it is more to be valued than all the treasures of natural science, or the most learned and profound speculations in theology itself. Illfounded pretensions, however, are not to be