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come when he would impart a farther revelation of his will to mankind. Though they walked as it were through a cloud dar ly, they hoped their posterity would almost see God face to face. This condition of mankind has met with reprehension to-day. But I shall not pursue this argument; fully impressed with the great truths of Religion, wbich, thank God, I was tauglit in my early years to believe, and of which the hour of reflection and enquiry, instead of producing any doubt; has fully confirmed me in.”
He that feels not conviction enough from these reasonings and authorities to make him pause, at least, iu his deistical courses, is out of the reach of all ordinary means of conviction, and must be dealt with in some more fearful manner. God that his conscience may be alarmed as with thunder-that the arrows of the ALMIGHTY may stick fast within him-tbat his sonl may feel the terrors of hell following hard after him that, like the unhappy person just mentioned, he may be made a monument of divine justice in the sight of alt aen--and that, file, the celebrated RocheSTER, he may be finally snatched as a brand from the burning by the power of sovereign grace! May that blood which speaketh better things than the blood of LABEL, and on which he now profanely and insolently tramples, be applied to his soul by the energy of the eternal SPIRIT. And may there be joy in the presence of the angels of God at his conversion, and heaven's eternal arches résound with hallelujahs at the news of a singer saved!
The author of this book, which is here put into your hand, cannot help being extremely alarmed for the safety of his friends in this day of abounding Infidelity, when he considers this declaration of CHRIST, that, Whosoever shall be ashamed of him, and of his Words, in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, then he cometh in the glory of his father with the holy angels.
It is impossible to add any thing to the weight of these words. The heart that is unappalled by them is harder than the nether mill-stone, and incapable of religious melioration.
When you have carefully perused the book two or three times over, if you think it calculated, in ever so small a degree, to impress the mind with conviction; have the goodness to lend it to your unbelieving neighbour, remembering the words of St. JAMES: Brethren! if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
If you are dissatisfied with what is here advanced, in favour of Religion and the Sacred Writings, by no means give up the cause as desperate; but do yourself the justice to procure Bishop Watson's Apology for the Bible, in answer to THOMAS Paine, and his Apology for Christianity, in answer to Mr. GIBBON. They are books small in size, but rich in value. They discover great liberality of mind, much strength of argu- , ment, a clear elucidation of difficulties, and vast superiority of ability on this question to the persons whom he undertook to
The best edition of the Apology for the Bible, which is the more popular and seasonable work of the two, is four shillings; but an inferior one may be had from any of the booksellers at the reduced price of one shilling.
Considering the sceptical spirit of the present age, and the danger young aud inexperienced people are in of being seduced into the paths of irreligion; this, or some other antidote, ought to be in every man's hand, who has any serious concern, either for his own felicity, or that of his friends and neighbours.
TO THE SECOND EDITION.
This second edition of the Plea for Religion is enlarged with a considerable quantity of fresh matter, and is more than double the size of the former.
The whole of the first edition is retained, with some trifling alterations, and several of its parts enlarged and improved.
The anecdotal additions are many and important, and, it is hoped, will be found to furnish a good degree of profitable amusement.
Remarkable deistical conversions, with instances of unhappy and triumphant dissolutions, are here also more nu
This edition is also considerably extended in the religious and practical part, and, the author trusts, not without advantage, as a lively and experimental sense of divine things upon the human mind, is vindicated from the charge of enthusiasm, and the vile aspersions of a world that lieth in wickedness.
The prophecies concerning Christ, and his church in these latter days, are treated pretty much at large, with a view to demonstrate the divine authority of the Sacred Writings.
Other arguments for the truth and authenticity of the Scriptures* are suggested, the most comnion objections stated and
* Consult SIMPSON's Essay on the Authenticity of the New Testament, in answer to VOLNEY and EVANSON; but more
especially Jones's New and Full Method of settling the canonical Authority of the New Testament, 3 vols. octavo, a most learned, able, valuable, and decisive work, just reprinted by the University of Oxford, though written by a Dissenting minister: an instance of liberality not always to be met with.' Can any good thing come out of Galilee?
answered, and the whole rendered as coucise and satisfactory as
Mr. Paine's objections to the Bible are particularly considered, and brief answers returned. His abuse of the Sacred Writers is also noticed with the severity it deserves, and his ignorance and malignity exposed.
Many extracts from our most celebrated Poets are interspersed. This will be considered as an excellence by some, and an imperfection by cthers. The literary reader will call to mind, that several of the most valuable authors among the ancients have written in the same manner.
"A verse may catch bim, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.” A compendious account of the present state of Churchpreferments is introduced, besides a general view of the Dissenting congregations in this kingdom.
The present state of the Methodist societies in Great Bri-; tain, Ireland, America, and the West Indies is likewise noticed, with some account of the rise and meaning of that deno-, mination of Christians.
Some shameful instances of non-residence, patronage, and pluralities of livings, now in existence among the Bishops and Clergy of the land, are here detailed, and strongly reprehended.
The Articles and Canons, the Liturgy, and other Public Offices of our church are reviewed, and, in some respects, reproved. At the same time, most of tbe defects in our ecclesi, astical frame are confirmed by the opinions of some of our niost learned and respectable writers.
If the author is thought severe upon the episcopal and clerical orders of men, let it be remarked, that he esteems them all
very highly in love for their office' sake, because he is persuaded it is of divine appointment; and that, if at any time he has given way to his indignation, and expressed himself in strong terins against these orders, it is never intended to affect any but the culpable part of them; and that both the Prophets 'under the; Old Testament dispensation, and CARIST with his Apostles