Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

ERRATA.

Page 74, note, for Fanatias read Fanaticus.

161, last line of the text, for move read prove.
171, line 2 from bottom, dele and.
257, line 13, for part read parts.

INTRODUCTION.

WHOEVER has acquired any adequate notion of Christianity, as delivered in the New Testament, will, without hesitation, acknowledge that it furnishes a complete rule of faith and manners. Its doctrines are simple, perspicuous, and sublime.

Its precepts are comprehensive, and a lapted to every situation and circumstance of life.

Its examples are supremely venerable, amiable, and attractive. Its promises are adapted to move the nobler principles of human nature. Its denunciations are calculated to arrest folly, to intimidate vice, and to superinduce sobriety of reflection. It hath confirmed and sanctioned, by divine authority, every precept of Natural Religion. It hath corrected a multiplicity of errors, relative to religious subjects, which had uniformly and extensively prevailed in the world, before its introduction. It hath

B

clearly revealed several momentous points with respect to which the most penetrating understandings, among the heathen sages, had been able only to attain to a few obscure conjectures, and which even Jewish prophets had but dimly perceived. Many subjects of the first importance to man's present tranquillity, and to his future happiness, have been unfolded by the glorious light of the gospel, with all the clearness of truth, and with all the authority, of infallible wisdom. The author of our religion hath divested the worship of God of every thing absurd, superfluous, and nugatory, and left nothing connected with it, but what is conducive to the glory of its infinitely adorable object, and to the most substantial benefit of mankind. He hath placed the whole fabric of Christian morality on the solid and comprehensive foundation of love to the Supreme Being, and of enlarged benevolence towards all his rational and moral creatures, nay, towards the whole sensitive world.

Hence, although many have denied or controverted the divine origin of our religion, few have pretended to question the excellence of its morality. Even these few have evidently betrayed, to all impartial minds, either their ignorance or their prejudiced rancour.

With much greater truth, then, may it be asserted of the Christian faith, what Cicero so

« EdellinenJatka »