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THE

CHRISTIAN'S

ARMOUR AGAINST INFIDELITY:

BEING A COLLECTION OY

RARE AND VALUABLE TRACTS

UPON TIE

EVIDENCES OF DIVINE REVELATION,

BY DISTINGUISHED WRITERS.

WITH A

PRELIMINARY ESSAY

ON TUK

CHARACTER AND PRETENSIONS OF MODERN INFIDELITY,

TOGETHER WITH

NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS,

BY THE REV. JOHN G. LORIMER,

Minister of St David's Parish, Glasgow.

GLASGOW:
W. R. M‘PHUN, 84, ARGYLE STREET.

MDCCCXLIII.

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PREFATORY ESSAY.

ON

MODERN INFIDELITY.

When one considers what is the nature of true Christianity, and what are the benefits which it has conferred upon the world, even in its enfeebled and corrupted forms; how it has raised the female sex-one half the species—from the lowest social degradation; how it has abolished or mitigated slavery--humanized warstrengthened the intellect of man-promoted literature and freedom-purified morals; how, from being the religion of a poor despised Jew, it has moved onward till it has become the religion of the most enlightened, powerful, free, and civilized nations of the earth, distinguished in science and art ; when it is remembered what systems of darkness and superstition and cruelty and blood it has successfully encountered and overthrown in its progress; what hopes it has awakened respecting the future; how many death-beds it has irradiated and gladdened ;-one would imagine Christianity would be universally hailed as the Benefactor of mankind, and that men would as soon think of attempting to blot out the sun from the firmament as desire to deny its claims or check its advancement. What better system of belief and practice can be substituted in its room? But, strange to say, in almost all ages, there have been not a few who have denied its Divine authority, and proved its bitter enemies, treating it as if it were the foe of human happiness; and, what increases the surprise, men of superior intellect and attainments have not unfrequently been the most prominent in this unhappy class.

At the present day, infidelity has descended from a limited number in the higher or more intelligent circles of society, to a large class of the uninstructed and the poor. In Popish countries, the absurd and indefensible aspects under which Christianity has been presented; and in Protestant countries, the coldness and indifference, the divisions and the errors and ungodliness, of too many professed Christians, together with the want of adequate means of religious instruction, whether for old or young, have all powerfully contributed to this melancholy result. Perhaps

in our own country, the principles of infidelity were never more widely spread among all, and especially the humbler, classes of society, than at the present day. In all departments—in literature and sciencein views of education and civil government and national happiness—we meet with the principles of unbelief, often unknown to those who hold and propagate them; while in prints and regular publications, and public meetings and lectures, we find abundant evidence that many of the poor and hard-wrought, who, of all men need the consolations and hopes of true religion most, have abandoned themselves to infidel teaching, and are bringing up their children according to the same miserable model. It is bad enough that such infidel principles are in high repute and acceptance, as that in religion there is no finding out the truth; and that man is not responsible for his belief; and that he may attain to perfectibility in a present life, by the mere force of knowledge and political institutions ;- but it is still worse, when horrible prints are circulated, caricaturing the Jehovah of the Scriptures; when the Age of Reason is drawn forth from its obscurity, publicly proclaimed, and set above the Bible ; and when men are not ashamed to publish themselves as the Enemies of God and to advocate Atheism. And yet all who are acquainted with the state of the larger manufacturing towns, must be aware, that such things exist and prevail among a certain ass of their people.

Nor is a denial of Revelation, leading onward to the

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