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RECTOR OF CASTERTON PARVA, RUTLAND;
" If this antidote of ours shall correct the misapprehension of some concern-
Salvian. de Gubernat. Dei. Præfat.
PRINTED FOR C. AND J. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD,
The immediate occasion of committing the following observations to paper, was the shock which the writer received from seeing the actions of some of the persons recorded in Scripture, urged, in one of the weekly publications of the day, in justification of the crime of assassination. From considering whether the example alleged were a case in point; he was naturally led to inquire, how far the moral attributes of the Deity, as they are called, are implicated in the representation made of these things in Scripture; and whether that representation at all impeaches the credit of it, as the history of a divine revelation. But it appeared, that this subject could not be satisfactorily discussed, without taking it up on general principles ; in the progress of which discussion, the responsibility of man to the Supreme Being, his subjection to a future judgment, and the propriety of the law of life given him, as the rule by which that judgment will proceed, were necessarily introduced. Connected with the above-mentioned argument, derived from Scripture examples in favour of crime, are also the sweeping assertions, that the Scripture contains immoralities and absurdities of various sorts; which accusations the writer could hardly keep out of his mind in passing from one part of his subject to the other : he has therefore endeavoured in a brief and general way to obviate some of them. He fears he may be thought to have departed from the simplicity of his plan in doing this; and still more by the notice which he has taken of some other objections, less closely connected with that, which he has proposed as his immediate subject : but as objections to Christianity are continually heaped together without order or connection, he hopes these disgressions will not be esteemed altogether out of place; but generally at least, connected with the main design of the whole. He has not endeavoured to answer every charge or explain every difficulty ; but to bring forward a few general principles, which may perhaps satisfy some minds, and set others at work to discover for themselves or produce to the public, more full and satisfactory solutions of the difficulties here slightly and superficially touched. He is aware he can say nothing new upon these subjects : all the objections against religion urged now, have made their appearance of old, and have been from time to time satisfactorily answered : and every thing said in these sheets has been better said before. But it is not for that reason always useless for an inferior writer to do his endeavour to stem the torrent of infidelity ; because from various causes, he may possibly do good : his work may fall into the hands of those, who have not met with any thing better upon the subject; who may improve upon the hints given, or who may be led to inquire after those standard works, in which they will, by the blessing of God, meet with entire satisfaction. If the perusal of the following remarks should occasion any one person to think more seriously than before on the subject of religion, and to act more precisely in its spirit; if it should confirm any one wavering mind in a settled convic