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PRE FAC E.

The following work results from the ftudy and experience of a long life, devoted principally to the service of the gospel. From diligent researches into the true meaning and spirit of the sacred writings, the author has been led to various deviations from the creed of the established church: his opinions have, at different times, been laid before the public; and, if the discouragements attending the profession of his faith have been very considerable, he is happy and thankful to have lived in a country, where not only such appeals have been practicable, but he has been supported by several of his countrymun, who renouncing the errors of their

; : A 3 education, education, have openly avowed their faith in only one God, the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The gloomy unjust ideas which some entertain of the Divine Being; the avowed or restrained doubts of others with respect to the sacred history of the first ages and facts of an extraordinary interference in the deluge; crude and unjustifiable attacks on the revered characters of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and Elifba *, &c. These with similar

things being thrown out in converse, .. before those for whose peace and hap

piness the author is much interested,

* For a complete vindication of the characters of Elijah and Elisha, a justification of the former for praying against rain, and for calling down destructive fire from heaven; and of the latter, for cursing the young men of Bethel, see the very excellent and satisfactory sermons on these subjects, in the first volume of Sermons by Joseph Morris. London, fold by J. Noon, 1743.

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put him on turning his attention to such facts and arguments, as by others as well as himself, have been found satisfactory.

The importance of the subject may be an apology for some repetitions; and till a full conviction is wrought in the mind, that the government of this world is the wifest that could have been .. adopted, and that the evils and distresses of life, (of which we are not so good judges as the child just able to talk is of the corrections of a tender mother,) are not permitted, but for the good of all; the attention of the public cannot be too often ļolicited for the vindication of our Creator. Under the hope of promoting in some degree the interest of his fellow-creatures in so noble a cause, and of leading them to their

A4 . happiest

happiest state, a full confidence and satisfaction in the never-ceasing love of their maker and God, the following remarks, imperfect as they are, are committed to the candour and serious attention of the benevolent reader,

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