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/ I —V OF THE PRINCIPAL
THAT HAV E APPEARED IN ENGLAND IN THE LAST AND PRESENT CENTURY.
ACCOUNT OF THE ANSWERS THAT HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED
in seberal letters to a jfrieirtr.
By JOHN LELAND, D.D.
WITH AN APPENDIX ': ..
By W. L. BROWN, D.D.,
PRINCIPAL OF MARESCHAL COLLEOE, ABERDEEN, ETC. ETC.
COM PRISING A SUCCINCT VIEW OF THE SUBSEQUENT HISTORY OF THE
By CYRUS R. EDMONDS,
AUTHOR OP " THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GENERAL WASHINGTON."
PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION.
No man that is not utterly unacquainted with the state of things among us can be ignorant, that in the last, and especially in the present age, there have been many books published, the manifest design of which was to set aside revealed religion. Never in any country where Christianity is professed, were there such repeated attempts to subvert its divine authority, carried on sometimes under various disguises, and at other times without a disguise at all. The most noted writers on that side have been at liberty to produce their strongest objections; these objections "have been retailed by others; and many seem to take it for granted, that Christianity hath received very sensible wounds by the several attacks that have been made upon it, and that they have greatly hurt its credit, and weakened its authority. >-v
But whosoever will be at the pains impartially to examine those of the deistical writers that have hitherto appeared among us, and to compare them with the answers which have been made to them, will find, that upon a nearer view they are far from being so formidable as some have been apt to apprehend. And since there are few that have leisure or patience for a particular inquiry into the several writings which have appeared in this controversy, some judicious persons, who wish well to the interest of our common Christianity, have been of opinion, that it might be of real service to give a summary view of the most noted books that have been published against revealed religion for above a century past, together with proper observations upon them. From such a view, the reader might be enabled to form some notion of the several turns this controversy hath taken, how often the enemies of revealed religion have thought proper to change their methods of attack, the different disguises and appearances they have put on, and the several schemes they have formed, all directed to one main end, viz. to set aside revelation, and to substitute mere natural religion, or, which seeins to have been the intention of some of them, no religion at all, in its room.
Upon such a comparison between those that have attacked Christianity, and those that have been written in defence of it, it would appear, that if it be really true, that deism and infidelity have made a great progress among us, it must have been owing to something else than the force of reason and argument; that the Christian religion is in no danger from a free and impartial inquir y; and that