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THE following compilation was drawn up
The labour was, I own, of a humble de-
the house of God. To the serious attention of the Clergy, in particular, such an office is peculiarly entitled: as, if the theory of the Deist be true, then indeed is their preaching vain.
Before I proceed, however, to give a slight introductory account of the original works or their authors,* I would offer a short view of the train of argumentation which they jointly constitute.
LELAND, in the Summary attached to his View of the Principal Deistical Writers of England, of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, has powerfully exhibited the general mischievousness of Deism as a sys
In reasoning upon the chief miracles recorded in the Old Testament, no one has surpassed the energy, or the conclusiveness of LESLIE'S Short and Easy Method with the Deists.
DODDRIDGE'S Three Sermons, on the External Evidences of the New Testament, are universally characterised as compositions evincing the utmost clearness of arrange
* These Introductory Notices will be found prefixed in succession to the respective Abridgements.
The objections alleged against both Testaments by the French Infidels (Voltaire, Volney, &c.), and repeated with characteristical scurrility and acrimony by their English brethren, Paine and Carlisle, have received, in Bishop WATSON'S Apology for the Bible, their plainest and most satisfactory confutation.
The argument deduced from Analogy of Systems, as pointing to one common Author (often beautifully touched, rather than developed, in the New Testament), has been admirably expanded by Bishop Butler.
PALEY, in his Chapter on the Morality of the Gospel, derived from SOAME JENYNS (as limited and qualified by MACLAINE), presents us with a most perspicuous view of the Internal Evidence of Christianity :—And, lastly,
The Inward Witness to its Influences has been unanswerably stated in Three Sermons, by the excellent Dr WATTS.
In addition to such an accumulation of reasoning, if authority can be deemed necessary, what names may be adduced more
illustrious than those of
BACON, who affirmed, that "there never
was found in any age of the world, either philosopher, or sect, or law, or discipline, which did so highly exalt the public good as the Christian Faith;" of
SELDEN, who pronounced, that "there is no book upon which we can rest in a dying moment, but the Bible; " of
Sir MATTHEW HALE, who pronounced, that there is no book like the Bible, for excellent wisdom, learning, and use;" of
MILTON, who asserted, that "there are no songs comparable to the Songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the Prophets, and no politics like those which the Scriptures teach; " of
The Hon. ROBERT BOYLE, who declared, that the Bible is a "matchless volume, which it is impossible we can study too much, or esteem too highly;" of
LOCKE, who proclaimed, that "it hath God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter; or of
Sir WILLIAM JONES, who stated, that "he had carefully, and regularly perused the Holy Scriptures; and was of opinion that the volume (independently of its Di