« PreviousContinue »
excellent elementary works, having for their object the explanation of scriptural history, and scriptural doctrines, in a manner at once instructive and engaging to the opening mind of the pupil, have been given to the public: and they have been received with the gratitude which the writers merited. Let me not be sufpected of a disposition to detract from the value of those works, the circulation and use of which I wish to see every day more widely extended, when I venture to observe, that an additional treatise on a plan somewhat enlarged has appeared to me to be wanting ; a treatise which might fitly intervene between the perusal of books of the class to which I have alluded, and the ample range of reading scarcely to be expected but from the leisure and industry of manhood. The deficiency
which I conceived to exist, I have endeav, oured in the following pages to supply.
My intention has been to lay before the reader a familiar and compendious view of the Christian religion, and of the principal historical events connected with its introduction and progress, its corruption and reformation; including a concise account of the scriptures of the old and new Testaments, and a summary of the evidences of the truth of Christianity, toge
ther with some remarks on forms of church
government and religious establishments. Bearing in mind that I have been addressing myself to natives of Great Britain ; I have been solicitous to draw the attention of the reader, wherever the subject afforded a fit opportunity, to events or circumstances which have had a particular influence on his own country; and by ren
dering him acquainted with the principles on which its religious institutions are established, to guard him betimes from being hastily prejudiced against thofe inftitutions by misrepresentations or groundJefs objections. I have endeavoured, on suitable occasions, to obviate, without entering too deeply into argument, some of thofe cavils of scepticism and infidelity which a young person may probably hear; and thus to lead him to withhold implicit confidence from others, which he
afterwards have to encounter. Throughout the whole work it has been my predominant desire to direct the acquisition of knowledge to its proper purpose; the establishment and confirmation of Christian views, motives, and practice through life.
I may trust that the candour of the public, which I have repeatedly experible, yet
enced respecting other works, will be extended to the present, perhaps, more hum
I would hope, under the blessing of God, not less useful attempt. My objects in drawing up this performance would be abundantly answered, if it should be deemed worthy of being placed as a manual in the hands of the youth of both sexes during their education at home or in public seminaries. I am also willing to persuade myself that it may prove a convenient summary to many persons of all ages, when they happen not to have leisure and opportunity for the perufal of