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ADDRESSED

TO THE DAUGHTER


ON THE

FORMATION OF RELIGIOUS AND MORAL
PRINCIPLE.

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. II.

BY ELIZABETH HAMILTON,

jtUTHOR OF
LETTERS ON TRE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OP

Education, Sfc. &;c. SfC.
THE SECOJVD EDITION.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR T. CADELL AND W.

IN THE STRAND,
By W. riint. Old Bailey.

1806.

DAVIES,

CONTENTS.

LETTER I.

Of natural religion—Founded on belief in God

and a future stale of rewards and punishments

—Inquiry into the state of natural religion

prior to revelation—Gross misconceptions of

men respecting the divine attributes—Intro-

duction of barbarous rites in religious worship

—Errors of idolatry perpetuated during the

most enlightened aeras of Greece and Rome-

Opinions of philosophers respecting a future

state, vague and speculative—Not influential

on moral conduct—Of the religious principles

of the Jews—The simplicity and sublimity
peculiar to many of their dogmas—Whence derived—Mysteries connected with certain parts of revelation—Their gradual developement—Analogous to that of the human faculties—Views of Providence presented in the Bible, clear in all that relates to religious and moral duty—Objections to revelation originate in the limitation of the human mind—Docility recommended—An arrogant spirit inimical to every species of improvement. 1

LETTER II.

Early corruption of the principles of natural religion—Of the truths communicated by immediate revelation to the Jews—Knowledge of the Supreme Being—Of his providence and government—The relation established between religious belief and moral obligation—The brevity of the Scriptures an evidence of their authenticity—A reason assigned for the little information contained in them respecting the first ages of mankind—Incapacity of the human mind to form distinct conceptions of a state wholly removed from human experienceIllustration of the supposed analogy between mythological fable and Scriptural history— The events related in the latter clearly explained by their reference to the Messiah — History of the promises made to our first parents after the fall—to Noah—to Abraham— The.covenant made with Abraham predictive of the Messiah—Gracious condescension of the Almighty, in attaching to every promise of that event predictions concerning events speedily to be accomplished, and which in their accomplishment, afforded a convincing proof of the divine veracity—Of the promised land—The manifestation of Moses—Miracles necessary to the establishment of his authority . 22

mythological

LETTER III.

Of the harmony which appears between the ordinary and extraordinary dispensations of Providence—The works of nature considered as a revelation of the divine power and wisdom—State of religious belief at the time of Moses—Sensible evidences of revelation necessary to afford conviction to the Jews—Their entering

into

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