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attended toj till his gospel be embraced, his ordinances frequented, his commandments obeyed, his example imitated, his favour supremely valued, his providence submitted to and depended on, and his glory made the great object in their habitual conduct, by governors, and subjects, and by men of every rank and description in society. This, and this alone would terminate wars, massacres, oppression, slavery, faction, fraud, violence, licentiousness, and all the other crimes and mischiefs, which fill the earth with confusion and misery. So that it will at last be known, that those persons are in reality, the best friends of mankind, (though they do not here expect to be thought so,) who are most careful to render to the Lord the honour due unto his name, and most zealous and assiduous by all proper means, to bring all others within the sphere of their influence, (whether that be more circumscribed, or more extensive,) to do the same; according to the several duties of their situation, in the family, the community, and the church of God.
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES,
AND THE DOCTRINES CONTAINED IN THEM,
IN ANSWER TO
MR. PAINEis AGE OF REASON.
Be ready always to give an answer to every man, that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. i Peter iii. IS.
Far who is this tincircumcised Philistine, that he should defu 'he armies of the living God? I Sam. xvii. 25.
Vol. III. Ss
Preface to the Second Edition.
-A. CONSIDERABLE change seems to have taken place ii> the minds of numbers, respecting The Age of Reason, and it celebrated author, since the first publication of this answer: yet it may be feared that infidelity and scepticism are not proportionably decreased. Perhaps the enemies of revelation have even established themselves on more tenable ground; and,--by conceding that the books of the Old and New Testament are authentic/: records, they derive some advantage in denying that they are divinely inspired: but if this point be maintained, the rest is of comparatively small moment; for wc still want an authoritative standard of faith and jiractice. It was on this ground therefore, that the author ventured to meet the Goliath of modern infidelity: and as he has sufficient evidence that his answer has not been wholly unsuccessful, he was not willing it should be out of print in Britain: as it has been printed aid circulated on the other side of the Atlantick.
It seemed, however, unnecessary to take up the reader's time, in exposing the ignorance, errors, or misrepresentations of Mr. P. or in answering such so/i/iisms, as he alone wo'.ld have advanced. Some passages therefore are retrenched, in order to render the answers to plausible objections more nervous, by bringing them nearer together, and in some instances enlarging on them.
The author has also bestowed considerable pains, in making the whole more instructive and convincing to the s'ciious enquirer. He hopes therefore, that the work is rendered more, suitable to the case of those, who, without having read The Age of Reason, are yet perplexed with difficulties concerning the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and wish to have their objections fairly considered, their arguments answered, and their doubts removed.