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der the happy effects of a life of piety and virtue, both here and hereafter.
At a time when the world is deluged with publications--not indeed grossly obscene, immoral and impious, but of a nature even more dangerous in their conse. quences—whereby the passions of the reader are inflamed by descriptions of characters and scenes the most voluptuous, if not meretricious; in which the incidents are artfully contrived to place vice in such a light as by thoughtless youth, to be scarcely distinguishable from virtue ; and wherein that religion, which would operate as an antidote, is attempted to be blown away, as it were, by a side wind : ?-with publica
(a) That the world at present abounds with books of this description, is a facl too notorious to require proof. Wit. ness the many which have disgraced the Britih Press. Witness “ those swarms of publications now daily issuing " from the Banks of the Danube,” under the specicus denomination of GERMAN LITERATURE;" that fo. " ber and unsuspected mass of mischief, which, by assu. " ming the plausible names of Science, of Philosophy, of " Arts, of Belles Lettres, is gradually administering death " to the principles of those who would be on their guard, “ had the poison been labelled with its own pernicious ti. 66 tle.
Avowed attacks upon revelation are more easily
tions which thus fap the foundations of virtue and morality, and pollute their very source; break down the barriers between virtue and vice, and produce in the rising generation, as a necessary consequence, a degree of profligacy, dissipation and licentiousness, the effects of which cannot be contemplated without horror ; -at a period when works of such a tendency find so ma: ny patrons among the public, the publisher hopes to be excused for introducing one little tract, which has for its object the promotion of religion and piety.
But independent of every other conde. ration, the unexampled sale which this work has experienced in England, will alone, it is presumed, render any apology for its republication here, unnecessary. In a period
" refifted, because the malignity is advertised; but who “ suspe&ts the destruction which lurks under the harmless 6. or infractive names of GENERAL HISTORY, NATU.
RAL HISTORY, TRAVELS, VOYAGES, LIVES, EN". CYCLOPEDIAS, CRITICISM, and ROMANCE.". (See “ Stri&tures on Female Education," by Hannah More a work of uncommon merit, and at this time, in particular, of ivimable value.)
of less than twenty-five years, seventy-five thousand copies of the book were fold; and the style in which a new edition of it has Jately been printed, seems to shew, that, like the religion it inculcates, the more tho. roughly it becomes known, the more high. ly is its value estimated. b
Here, it may be thought, the publisher should have closed his advertisement; but as this little work will probably fall into the hands of some of those persons whose minds, by a perusal of authors of the description
" (h) This is a re publication of a very popular and • meritorious performance. I thas been long and justly ad. " mired by all the best and most enlightened of our coun" trymen. The author's character is here drawn with " elegance and brevity by his son, who might well be proud “s of such a father. The preface is judicious, and written
by himself. In it he lioneitly avows, the design of his la« bour is to check the rage of sensual pleasures, which he " foresaw would result, as it doubtless has done, in gross “ immorality and general impiety. In a period of less " than twenty-five years we are informed SEVENTY FIVE " thousand copies of the book were sold. Such a circula. "stion of so much good sense and sound reasoning were “ never more devoutly to be wished for than now. And
we muf own it comes abroad with circumstances not I unacceptable to the present taste. It is elegantly printed " on a beautiful wore paper. It is written by an
already alluded to, have become prejudiced against the christian revelation; and as the best arguments drawn from the sacred writings, and founded on their supposed au. thenticity, can have no weight with those who deny the authority of the scriptures themselves; he hopes to be excused for adding thereto, some prefatory observations on the credibility of the Christian Religion.
Being convinced that it is not to any deficiency of evidence, or failure of argument, but to a reluctance to examine, and indifference about, those evidences and arguments which have already been brought forward in support of the Christian Religion,
HONEST and eminent Lawyer. It assumes a style of “ sober, deliberate discussion, without the rant of enthusi“ asm, or the cant of hypocrisy. It is so perfectly free of “ priestcraft, that the most profane are under no temptation “ to consider it merely as a professional lure, or artifice “ of the clergy, for fpunging on the laity. There are “ no prejudices against it but the subject, and we pledge " ourselves that our readers will like the subjeet the “ better, the more serioufy and the oftener they perule " this masterly and elegant account of it."
Ladies Monthly Museum, Vol. 1. p. 238.
(6) See Note at the bottom of page 4.
that the growth of modern infidelity should be attributed; the author (or compiler) of the following observations has been more studious to collect in a small compass, and to place in a strong point of view, the substance of what has been judiciously faid by others, than to advance new arguments on the subject himself: indeed, at this period of the christian æra, when the talents, learning, research, and ingenuity of eighteen centuries have been exhausted in the controversy, it is scarcely to be expected that any very forcible arguments should now be brought forward, which have not, in some shape or other, already been suggested.
In throwing together the following observations, the compiler's principal obje& has been, to induce those easy profelytes to infidelity who have never perhaps thought seriously on the subject of the Christian Reli. gion, and who know but little or nothing of the evidences by which it is supported ; to investigate more thoroughly a matter which, in whatever point of view it may be