The substance of the following discourses was delivered in two sermons, in the church in Freehold, Monmouth county, New Jersey, on the 29th of September 1834. A desire for their publication having been expressed by some who heard them, I have thought it proper to revise and enlarge the whole, and present it in the present form. The subject is one which has given rise to much warm discussion, and it would seem, at first view, to be a work of supererogation, if not still more unfavourable character, to trouble the Christian community with another treatise upon it. But our Antipædobaptist brethren appear to be resolved that it shall never cease to be agitated; and as, indeed, the constant stirring of this controversy seems to furnish no small share of the very ailment on which they depend for subsistence as a denomination, they cannot be expected to let it rest. The great importance of the subject, in my estimation, and the hope that this little volume may reach and benefit some, who are in danger of being drawn into the toils of error and have no opportunity of perusing larger works, have induced me to undergo the labour of preparing it for the press.
My object is not to write for the learned, but to present the subject in that brief, plain, popular manner which is adapted to the case of those who read but little. I have, therefore, designedly avoided the introduction of much more which properly belongs to the subject, and which is to be found in larger treatises; and have especially refrained from entering further into the field of philological discussion, than was absolutely necessary for the accomplishment of my plan.
If I know my own heart, my purpose is not to wound the feelings of a human being; not to stir up strife; but to provide a little manual, better adapted than any of this class that I have seen, for the use of those Presbyterians who are continually assaulted, and sometimes perplexed, by their Baptist neighbours. May the divine benediction rest upon the humble offering!
Princeton, July 1834
Copyright ©1997 by Kevin Reed