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THE TRUTH AND EXCELLENCE OF CHRISTIANITY.
The comparative credit due to the con-
clusions of Sceptics and Christians .
As the forms of infidelity are constantly changing, it becomes the duty of all good men to watch its versatile movements, and to endeavour, according to their several abilities, to counteract its subtle and pernicious influence. Standing, as we now do, in the full blaze of secular knowledge, there is the utmost danger, through the depravity of our fallen nature, of our preferring the wisdom of man to the wisdom of God; and if the advocates of revealed truth do not rush
into the field of conflict with the enemies of
human happiness, there is reason to fear that scepticism will obtain a partial and momentary triumph :-I say partial and momentary, for the
truth of Heaven must ultimately prevail, and
every power that would silence the voice of
6 THE LIVING ORACLES” must at last be crushed by the omnipotent energy of the Son of God. I am not afraid for the ark of the Lord; but I regard it as a solemn duty to contribute my aid, however humble, to the defence of revealed truth; and particularly to make my appeal to that portion of my fellow men who, either from mental tendency, or association in life, are peculiarly exposed to the desolating and pernicious onset of sceptical opinions.
I am aware there is nothing novel or peculiar in the treatise which I now place on the altar of the public; but I am fully satisfied that the position I have taken is sure, and that the sternest or the most insidious infidelity has no honest argument to oppose to the conclusions I have ventured, with unhesitating confidence, to draw. I have written with the decision which becomes him who feels he has truth, and the truth of Heaven, on his side ; and I beseech no man, who deigns to examine what I have said, to indulge a sneer, while conscience tells him that he should offer up a prayer to the Father of lights" for wisdom to guide his devious course, and, above all, to rectify his wayward and erring heart.
If there be any thing requiring distinct specification in the plan of the following work, it is the order pursued in laying down the series of evidence in support of the claims of Revelation. Whether right or wrong, I have wrought my way from the interior to the outworks ; and have made my first attack on the citadel of the heart, by endeavouring to point out the adaptations of Christianity to the known and admitted condition of human nature. In doing so, I flatter myself that I have pursued a simpler and more natural course than those writers upon the same important subject who have placed an almost exclusive dependence upon external evidence. At the same time, I have not dared to overlook any