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THE PHILOSOPHY

OF

A HAPPY FUTURITY.

ESTABLISHED ON THE SURE EVIDENCE OF

THE BIBLE.

PUBLISHED IN AID OF THE FUNDS OF THE COUNTY HOSPITAL.

BY WILLIAM MERRY, Esq.

There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.

And as a bird each fond endearment tries
To tempt its new fledged offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to brighter worlds and led the way.

GOLDSMITH.

READING:
G. LOVEJOY, LONDON STREET.
LONDON: HAMILTON AND ADAMS, PATERNOSTER ROW;

WHITTAKER AND CO. AVE MARIA LANE.

MDCCCXXXIX,

211,

PREFACE.

Great has been the difficulty in the author's mind, as to the propriety of affixing his name to a dissertation of this nature. In thus embodying, during the leisure of the past summer, the thoughts of years, he found encouragement as he proceeded, in the determination, at least, of concealment, in the event of publication. He persuaded himself that his being a layman rendered less needful, and that humility forbade, his being made known to the public. But on mature reflection there seemed reason to fear, that cloaked under excuses apparently good, there might lurk vanity rather than humility; pride shrinking from criticism. He remembered also, that much error there well might be, mingled with what had only good for its object, and that it was, therefore, important that the evil of such error, in so serious a matter, should lose all hurtful influence by being traced to its author. He dared not risk the home application of this sentence, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." He was conscious that men do draw back from the avowal of their religious opinions. He felt that the wish to throw the shield of secrecy round the deep convictions of his own mind, implied a want of moral courage ; and he thought, finally, that it became him as a Christian soldier and gentleman, firmly to plant his colours, and by God's help to abide by them.

SHINEFIELD, BERKS.

Nov, 19, 1839.

CHAPTER I.

“ We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”— 2 Cor. iv, 18.

FUTURITY! how vast the range of thought that single word opens to our view. Vast indeed, for it is without horizon. We are about to raise the calm and steadfast eye of faith and hope, through and beyond time, into eternity. Let us call to mind the angel's admonition, “ Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."* Let the shade of true humility be upon our brow lest our gaze be dazzled; and not for one moment let our right hand quit the open page of Divine Truth, lest imagination wander. May light from that sacred page be shed upon our hearts, that reading we may learn, and as we learn believe, and believing prove, that not

* Exod. iii. 5.

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