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No. LX.-On Grotius's strange misconception of the nature
of Abel's sacrifice,
No. LXVI.-On the comparison between the sacrifice of
No. LXIX.-On the CORRESPONDENCE between the sacrificial
language of the Old Testament, and that employed in
Postscript to Number LXIX.-On BoLINGBROKE, and
STUDENTS IN DIVINITY
University of Dublin.
THE following Discourses, originally composed with a view to your instruction, are now with the same design submitted to your more deliberate examination.
In these latter days, Christianity seems destined to undergo a fiercer trial, than it has for many centuries experienced. Its defenders are called upon, not merely to resist the avowed invader, who assails the citadel from without, but the concealed and treacherous foe, who undermines the works, or tampers with the garrison within. The temporising Christian, who, under the mask of liberality, surrenders the fundamental doctrines of his creed; and the imposing Rationalist, who, by the illusions of a facticious resemblance, endeavours to substitute philosophy for the gospel ; are enemies even more to be dreaded than the declared and systematic Deist. The open attacks of the one, directed against the Evidences of Christianity, have but served to strengthen the great outworks of our faith, by calling to its aid the united powers of its adherents: whilst the machinations of the others, secretly employed against the Doctrines of our religion, threaten, by eluding the vigilance, and lulling the suspicions of its friends, to subvert through fraud, what had been found impregnable by force. To aid these machinations, a modern and depraved philosophy hath sent abroad its pernicious sophistries, infecting the sources of morality, and enervating the powers of manly thought; and the better to VOL. I.
effect these purposes, clad in those engaging colours, which are peculiarly adapted to captivate the imaginations of young and ardent minds. Against arts and enemies, such as these, the most strenuous exertions of all who value the religion of Christ, are at this moment imperiously demanded.
In what manner to prepare for this conflict, we are informed on high authority. We are to take unto us the whole armour of God—having on the breast plate of righteousness ; and our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace : above all, taking the shield of Faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked: and taking the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is THE WORD OF GOD. These are the arms, which are to ensure us victory in the contest: and without these arms, we neither can, nor ought to stand. A conspiracy the most deep and deadly has been formed against Christianity. The Powers of darkness, have combined their mightiest efforts. Jf then the sentinels of the Gospel sleep
posts, if they do not instantly rouse to its defence, they are guilty of the blackest treason to their heavenly master. There is no room for truce or accommodation. The Captain of our Salvation has declared, that he that is not with him is against him. The force of this declaration is at this day peculiarly manifest. It is now become necessary, that a broad and distinct line should be drawn, between those who truly acknowledge the authority of Revelation, and those who whilst they wear the semblance of Christians, but lend the more effectual support to the enemies of Christianity.
These reflections, though befitting all who profess the religion of Christ, press peculiarly on those, who are destined to teach and to enforce his word. To you, my young friends, who look forward to the clerical office, they are important beyond description : and, if allowed their due weight upon your minds, they cannot fail to stimulate to the most zealous and effectual exertions in your pursuit of sacred knowledge. Already, indeed, has a more enlivened spirit of religious inquiry been manifested amongst you. To promote that spirit, and to supply some additional security against the prevailing delusions of the day, these Discourses, on the doctrines of Atonement and Sacrifice,doctrines, against which above all others, the Deist, and the Rationalizing Christian, direct their attacks,--were originally delivered, and are now published.
The desire expressed for their publication, by the existing