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BY SHARON TURNER, F.S.A. & R.A.S.L.
LONGMAN, REES, ORME, BROWN, GREEN AND LONGMAN,
PREF A C E.
This Second Volume continues the attempt to trace the outlines of the Sacred History of the World, as the phenomena of nature, and the experience of life unfold it to us; with such illustrations, as the superior sources of our knowlege upon it, more certainly, supply. The former Letters were principally directed to consider it, in the formations and system of the material laws and structure of our globe, and in the various classes of organic and sentient life which appear upon it. The present Correspondence carries on the investigation ; but is more particularly applied to observe and delineate the Divine economy in its more special reference to mankind; and to exhibit the plans and principles and purposes, which seem to have been pursued with respect to them, and to the progression of human nature in their successive generations, and therefore in the conduct and
history of human affairs ; so far as the Author has been able to perceive and to describe them.
· For this purpose, he has selected such topics as he thought would most impressively and satisfactorily display them; and has endeavoured to elucidate his views, by such facts and reasonings, as have the greatest tendency to explain and support them. His rule, throughout, has been, to reason always from facts, to select such of these as were most applicable and would give the largest and fairest prospect of his various topics, and to draw the correct inferences from them. He has tried to be careful, never to press his conclusions beyond the boundary of the deductions which his groundwork warranted ; and to present to his Readers, not only what he has himself deemed to be right and proper, but likewise, what be has endeavoured to make such, by as much self-guarding caution, as he could command and exercise. Feeling that truth alone is valuable on these great subjects, as on every other, he has been anxious to avert from himself, and to avoid in what he lays before others, whatever was likely to be of an opposite character.
But still the result can but be a series of individual opinions, which can have no authority in themselves ; and which ought to have no influence, but in proportion as they may be just and rational. They are now submitted to the public eye, simply as the personal thoughts and feelings of the Writer who has penned them.
His Readers must determine for themselves, how far what is expressed in these Letters, deserves their acceptance or assent. They must be his judges and their own instructors. They will coincide with him where they think him right: they will differ with him when they believe that he is wrong.
This is what ought to take place. It is his earnest wish that nothing, which may be found erroneous in his ideas, should be adopted by any one.
He therefore invites every one to exercise their own free and cautious deliberation; and with this care, what he has written may assist, instead of misleading them, on those more serious and sacred