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way on the intuitive perception and candour of the reader.

The Christian public have cause to regret, that those instances have not been multiplied, and analysed, by such distinguished talents, with a view to a complete inquiry. The subject would then have assumed the attitude and power of a commanding argument. The writer of the ensuing Essay would sincerely rejoice, if the imperfect hints which it contains, should induce some competent defender of the Christian religion to follow up this very important design.

He has used the title "Substance of an Argument," because principles of examination are advanced, which, from the limits of the work, could not be regularly applied; while others of equal value are not mentioned at all; and also, because those instances of application which he has ventured to produce, are capable of being carried to a much greater extent.

He is not, however, willing to concede, that the question yet remains undetermined. Sufficient proof, he thinks, has been adduced to convince any sceptic, somewhat open to conviction, of the truth of the Bible; though much more lies reserved in the inexhaustible resources of the subject. But of this the reader must judge for himself.

It could, perhaps, be made to appear, that all the different kinds of proof which, by numerous and able advocates, have been brought forward in support of Revelation, might be turned to bear with advantage on this single topic of fitness and harmony; forming one concentrated and powerful body of evidence, rendered regular and interesting by the unity preserved throughout. For example, the rapid propagation of the Gospel in primitive times, presumes the intrinsic suitableness of the Christian System to produce such effects; as well as a special arrangement of providence, and an extraordinary measure of Divine Influence, in favour of the cause. Most

subjects, it is well known, present this variety of aspects; as trees in a forest may be viewed either with respect to their admeasurement, or usefulness, or beauty.

The writer may just be allowed to add, that what is here, with some diffidence, committed to public attention, was originally a brief letter to a friend; and that after it was noticed as about to be printed, he hastily complied with the request to enlarge it. He soon found, however, that to draw up the greater part of an argument of this nature, while the work was going through the press, involved more of difficulty than he had suspected. This may account for some imperfections which otherwise, perhaps, had not existed. Still he casts himself on the candour and indulgence of the reader; hoping that any faults in the execution of his work, may be extenuated by the sincerity of his intentions.

One special favour he would earnestly solicit from the sceptic who may condescend to

look at the following pages ;-a request suggested by the nature of the investigation;—namely, that he would be pleased to judge of the subject, not from a simple glance at some remarks seen unconnected with the rest, but from an attentive survey and minute examination of the whole.

As to the private Christian, who is usually in quest of what is spiritually edifying, it is not pleasant to reflect, how little there is in the following inquiry immediately adapted to promote so good a purpose. But the prejudices of the Infidel, for whom such writings are chiefly intended, are so various, and withal so tenacious, as to oblige the friends of Revelation to have recourse to every possible kind of argument, that "by all means," they may "save some."

Sloane Square, Chelsea,

March 20, 1827.

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