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The present is eminently an age of Christian profession and effort ; and it is no less an age of scepticism and infidelity. Unexampled exertions are made by means of schools, Missions, the distribution of the Bible, and the multiplication of religious books, to bring all nations to the obedience of faith; and, on the other hand, the most determined attempts are made to neutralize all these agencies, and create an utter disregard for the religion of Christ.
The policy which infidels at present adopt is peculiar. They do not, in general, like their less cunning predecessors, make direct attacks upon Christianity as a whole, or openly speak of it as a fraud ; nor do they undertake to answer any of the more distinguished defences of revealed truth, such as those of Lardner, Butler, and Paley; but they endeavour to lose sight of it, to divert the public mind from its doctrines and claims, and silently to substitute for it the principles of what is called “natural theology." By this