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and, kindly extending the hand of unsolicited friendship, you rescued it from the shade.

Under the forms of common civility, you have treated me with a degree of politeness to which my deserts can bear no proportion ; while the condescension of your manners, has taught me to surmount that distance, which station and circumstance had made between us.

Superior to those local prejudices which might have influenced a mind devoid of magnanimity, you have more than called yourself my friend ; while, stimulated by your encouragement, I have prosecuted with vigor the present work, which, abstractci from this circumstance, would, in all probabil. ity, never have seen completion.

Destitute of literary reputation in myself, and treated with the icy hand of indifference by several of those whom custom had taught me to call my friends,—the link which united completion to publication, originated also with you.

Distinguished as an Historian and Philologist, in the literary world, the name of Mr. WHITAKER has been my passport to many of my subscribers, to whom, without it, even presumption itself would have led me to despair of all access.

It is under the sanction of your approbation of my Work, that I have addressed myself to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Cornwall ; and, beyond my most sanguine expectation, their generosity has crowned ny application with success.

Under these circumstances, gratitude becomes a duty: and I should reproach myself with that ingratitude, to which I hope my bosom will long reinain a stranger, werel to omit the acknowledginent of favours, where I cannot cancel obligations.

The uniform attachment of Mr. WHITAKER to the câyse of Christianity, and his abilities to de

fend her out-posts against all opposers, have beer. sufficiently appreciated both by friends and foes; the present Work, therefore, approaches you by a kind of natural right. But to proceed further in detailing those facts, which are necessary to make good its claim, would look like adulation ;-In proceeding, I must hurt your feelings ; and in desiting, I must stifle my own; and as I wish to be grateful, I must be silent.

To the Nobility, the Gentry, and other respecta. ble Inhabitants, of Cornwall, I acknowledge myself to be particularly indebted for their patronage and support There are many among them, who have interested themselves in the issue of my present publication, whose names it would gratify my feelings to publish ; but it is a liberty which I dare not take. To notice all the marks of attention which I have received, would be to violate the bounds of prudence; and to make selections, would be invidious and unjust.

To them, and to you, the Work is now presented, and the fate which awaits it cannot be remote. Under the sanction of your approbation, I shall feel tranquility amidst the shafts of critical malevolence ; and this reflection will afford me consolation in obscurity, though forgetfulness should stamp her insignia on my Work. But should a different fate await it-should it rise into some degree of repu- . tation, this paper will bear testimony to whom I am indebted.

That they, and you, in the regions of immortality, may inherit that Glory which God has preserved in a future state of Being for them that love and fear him, is among the genuine wishes of my heart. The influence of discordant motives, no doubt, produces changes in the human mind, which baffle al? calculation; but, judging from those feelings which have been long the inhabitants of my breast, gratitude and life must forsake together the bosom of,

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PREFACE.

AMONG that infinite variety of abstract truths which the God of Heaven has placed within the reach of human investigation, there are but few more pleasing to a contemplative mind than the natural Immortality of the Human Soul. To the gratification which results from such a contemplation, the Author of our being has been pleased to unite our most important interests; and has placed the immortality of the human soul among those truths which it is at once our duty and privilege to explore in our present state of being; and our felicity to enjoy through all eternity.

A subject which thus becomes interesting from its own importance, must be applicable to mankind in all ages of the world, and can only lose its energy when we lose our being. If, however, from the chequered state of human life, any one period can advance a claim in preference to another, it must be in an age, when infidelity, under the apparent sanction of philosophy, attempts to impose itself upon the credu. lous and the unthinking. It is in this age

that we live.

When principles appeal to our passions, under the auspices of Reason, and yet leave the

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understanding uninfluenced by their efficacy, they carry with them a presumptive evidence, that error lies concealed behind the mask, Tne principles of French philosophy answer this description, and therefore justify this conclusion. They fascinate with a specious appearance, and by gratifying the corrupted passions to which they appeal,

they conceal their delusive tendencies under the visor which they wear. Error chiefly becomes formidable from its concealment, and a detection of falsehood generally dispels its charm. And were infidelity to disclose its horrors, it would cease to operate upon the minds of men. Defeated in its native form, it approaches us in habiliments which are less questionable; and enters, unperceived, the. unguarded avenues of the heart. In this strange delirium of the mind, we become captivated with the novelty of new ideas, and mistake a paroxism of soul for an intellectual acquisition The progress

of French philosophy, has, pero haps, been more destructive than her arms. By appealing to the more vulnerable parts of human nature, we suffer our principles to be undermined by imperceptible degrees, till we barter truth for error; and, by adopting sentiments which originate a few shades beneath the surfaces of things, a superficial mind is tempted to place the reasoning by which it has been seduced among the recondite depths of science.

The principles of Rousseau on education, if indiscriminately adopted, will prepare the youth

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