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Copied by permission of The Misses Flaxman and Denman, from The Acts of Mercy" by the late J.Flaxman. RAP.S.
London, Published by Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange 4th June 1832.
IT is with great diffidence that I submit to the public a work, which, though to me it has long appeared wanted, may to others seem a superfluous if not a presumptuous attempt.
I regard it as unfortunate that the dispute as to the expediency of putting the Bible entire into the hands of readers of all ages and classes, has been agitated of late with more than usual warmth and acrimony. It may be thought that I have had in view this state of the public mind, and have by the very act of publishing this little work, taken upon myself the character of a partisan.
There are few things which I should deem more absurd and unbecoming than the affecting to assume a place in the ranks of theological controversy, or to claim a deeper acquaintance with the sacred writings than the humblest of their readers can attain to. Happy were it (as it seems to me,) for the cause of religion and the peace of mankind, had all attempts at biblical criticism been left in the hands of adequately instructed men; whose acquirements and patient application might afford some presumption of their capacity for sound and dispassionate judgement.