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able to defend their faith, and that they have seen the conclusiveness of their arguments; but this confidence is of but little service as it respects their influence on others, so long as the arguments are not within their reach, and cannot be wielded by them. Not only so, but the great body of Christians have but little time to read. If their libraries contained a competent number of these books, they would not be able to read sufficiently to obtain those views which we have mentioned. Another of the consequences of this state of things is, some real Christians are bewildered and led away, where they are exposed to the buffetings of error. Others who were once sensible to the influence of truth, and seemed in a fair way to become Christians, are led to embrace errors that extinguish almost every ray of hope in their case. Through the whole of this work, the object has been to present the system of truth before the mind of the reader, in a manner as plain, as concise, and yet as conclusive as possible. It has appeared more important to give the substance of the best arguments, rather than a multiplicity of them, or a few drawn out to a great length. In this way, the author has constantly endeavoured to compass his prominent design-to give the system of truth, and the arguments by which it is supported, in a manner so brief and definite, that both the labour of reading it so as to understand it, and the expense, may be within the


of common people. A free use has been made of the works which are named at the close of the different subjects. Others have been consulted, but the substance of the various subjects is taken from those that are mentioned. -To expect, in a work like this, to meet the minds of all, even of those who imbibe substantialy the sentiments of the author, would be vain in the extreme. From various causes, different sentiments will appear the most im. portant to different persons; of course, it is impossible that all should be satisfied with the degree of attention that has been paid to each. The whole work has been written under a deep sense of the delicacy of such an undertaking, and of the utter impossibility, especially for one in the circumstances of the author, to accomplish it without exposing himself to criticism. He is not unwilling however to own, that he has cherished an expectation which has afforded him no inconsiderable support under all the trials and embarrassments he has felt. He has flattered himself that a large class of Christians and other inquirers after truth, may be enlightened, and lastingly benefitted by his labours, notwithstanding their imperfections.

New- Haven, October 13, 1825.


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SECTION I. Natural Religion,

Question 1. What are we to understand by Natural Re-
ligion ?

2. In what respects is this religion defective ?

3. What evidence does the light of nature afford of the
existence of God ?

4. Has not the world, &c. existed from eternity ?

SECTION II, Truth of Revelation,

Q. 1. What evidence have we that God has given to our

world a revelation of his will ?
2. What is meant by inspiration?

3. With what kind of inspiration were the Scriptures giv-
4. Are there not some contradictions in the Bible

3. Does not the Apostle Paul intimate that he gave some

directions without the influence of the Spirit ? 40
6. What evidence have we that the Scriptures have not
been corrupted by translators, &c. ?

7. What evidence have we that the whole Bible is inspi-
ration ?

SECTION III. Perfections of God,

Q. 1. What are the attributes of God?

2. Is it not said in some passages that God repented ? 45
3. What are the moral perfections of God?

SECTION IV. Unity of God, Divinity of Christ
and the Holy Spirit,

Q. 1. What evidence have we that there is but one God ? 51
2. What is meant by the doctrine of the Trinity ? 51
3. What do we understand by the word person, as it is
used in reference to this subject ?

4. What evidence have we that such a distinction exists ? 52
5. What evidence have we that Christ is the true God ? 53
Is he not represented in some passages as inferiour to

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the Father?



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7. What evidence have we of the distinct personality of the Holy Spirit ?

60 8. What proof have we that the Holy Spirit is God? 62

SECTION V. Universal Government of God, 64 Q. 1. What is meant by the Universal Government of God?

64 2. What evidence have we that God does overrule every event ?

64 3. Does not this doctrine destroy free agency?

68 4. Jf God has determined the existence of sin, is he not pleased with its nature ?

71 5. Does not this doctrine represent God as insincere, &c. 72 6. Does not this doctrine discourage the use of means ? 77

SECTION VI. Moral Government of God, 79 Q. 1. What is meant by the Moral Government of God ? 79 2. What is the penalty of the law ? 3, If eternal death be the penalty of the law, what are the natural evils of the present life?

86 4. If the evils of this life be no part of the penalty, is it not unjust for sinners to suffer them ?

87 5. If eternal death be the penalty of the law, how shall

we prove that the declaration of the serpent was
not true “ Thou shalt not surely die?"

87 SECTION VII, Character of Man,

88 Q. 1. What was the primitive character of Man? 88 2. Did man retain his primitive character ?

88 3. What is meant by total moral depravity?

88 4. What evidence have we that all men are totally depraved? .

90 5. In what sense did all men fall with Adam?

94 6. Is the sin of Adam in any sense ours, &c. ?

95 7. Is not this doctrine inconsistent with the perfections of God?

96 8. Is not this doctrine inconsistent with free agency? 97 9. If sin be voluntary, how can infants be sinners ? 97 SECTION VIII. Atonement,

100 Q.1. If the demerit of sin be everlasting deatis

, and if all men are sinners, by what means is the execu. tion of justice suspended ?

100 2. What do we understand by the Atonement ? 101

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Page 3. What proof have we that an Atonement has been made?

102 4. Why could not pardon be extended to sinners without an Atonement ?

103 5. By what was the Atonement made ?

104 6. How could the sufferings of Christ make an Atone

ment, since nothing but his human nature could suf-

109 7. How extensive is the Atonement ?

109 8. If the Atonement be sufficient for all, why are not all saved ?

110 9. What are the conditions of life, and why are they essential, notwithstanding the Atonement?

110 10. What are we to understand by justification ? 111 11. What influence has faith in justification ?

111 12. How are the declarations of St. Paul and St. James on this subject to be reconciled ?

111 13. In what sense is the righteousness of Christ imputed?

112 SECTION IX. Regeneration,

113 Q. 1. By what process do sinners become partakers of

the Atonement, if none are partakers but such as
repent, &c. ?

113 2. What is Regeneration

113 3. By what agent is Regeneration effected?

114 4. By what instrument is Regeneration effected ? 114 5. Is the subject of this work active, or passive ? 114 6. Are the operations of the Spirit of God in Regereration irresistible ?

116 7. Is this change entire, or partial?

116 8. Is this change instantaneous, or progressive ? 118 9. Why is Regeneration necessary?

118 10. By what is Regeneration generally preceded ? 120 11. Is the subject of Regeneration sensible of the time when it is effected ?

123 12. What are some of the best evidences of this change? 123 13. When are we the subjects of this change, if ever? 133 14. What are the effects of Regeneration ?

134 15. What is gospel faith?

135 16. Is faith a voluntary act of the mind ?

138 17. What is evangelical repentance ?

141 18. What is love?


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