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IN publishing, at the present day, a Treatise on the Doctrines of Friends, it is not intended to convey an idea, that the works of this kind, already extant, are not judiciously written. Nor is it intended, by the present performance, to supersede those valuable writings on the contrary, I would recommend them to more general attention than they now receive. Nor is it to propagate or to defend new principles, that I have entered into the present engagement; but to present, in a concise and yet explicit manner, an account of the acknowledged Doctrines of the Society. For, though I consider the doctrinal works that have been published, with the consent of the Society, are all well adapted to the particular views of the respective writers, and to the times at which they were written; yet it may be noticed, that the writings of our primitive Friends are voluminous and scarce, while those of modern date do not notice many points of doctrine, which sometimes become interesting, from the particular course of religious inquiry.
It has long been a settled sentiment in my mind, that a work setting forth clearly the acknowledged Principles of the Society, in all material points, without being tedious or expensive, would be useful both to the members of the Society itself, and to serious inquirers of other religious denominations. With this sentiment, I cherished, for several years, a hope that some qualified individual would undertake the task. Finding, however, this hope not