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with “fear and trembling.” To throw down the gauntlet, and to enter the list against winning and attractive fashion, is a bold and daring effort. It will be admitted that this is a day of prevailing infidelity; and surely it will also be allowed, that it is the duty of every man, who sustains the sacred office of a Christian Minister, to “contend earnestly for the faith once de“livered to the saints,” and to “give a reason “ for the hope that is in him.” On this principle the Lecturer presumes to offer his mite to the Lord of the Treasury towards the support of this great and common cause. It may be asked, why hoary age should not rather enter upon this arduous work? Would to God that more efforts were made on the part of able and faithful mi
nisters, equally venerable for years and for litera
ture, against the common enemy! Those, however, who imagine that age should exclusively wield the “two-edged sword” against scepticism, will do well to remember, that the opposite cause is not supported altogether, or for the most part, by years, experience, and learning. No, these are far from being exclusively our opponents.
The young, the inexperienced, and the illiterate,
have united with the sage and the philosopher, against the claims and the obligations of revela
tion. While even school-boys daringly renounce
a system which they have not examined, which - - B 2
they cannot, alas! appreciate, and embrace one which they do not understand, may it not be permitted to a young man to say something in favour of a volume, which, if he should not succeed in defending it, he can truly say he admires and loves P Let the wise and the learned rouse to action, and produce their “strong rea“ sons”—I shall be among the first to sit at their feet: but upon persons of my own age, I feel that I have a peculiar claim; I trust that they will hear me with candour and respect; and for them principally I have suffered this engagement to be announced to the public. Let youth be opposed to youth, age to age, talent to talent. Let the enemies of revelation know, that we can ascend to their eminence, or sink to their level. Let it be seen, that some are growing up to support the Redeemer's kingdom, while others finish their course, and are gathered to their fathers. / It may be said, that so many have undertaken this cause, and acquitted themselves so ably, that neither any thing new can be advanced, nor is it indeed necessary. It is readily granted, that I am to tread in a beaten track; but while scepticism continues to press upon us old objections in new forms, we must follow their example in refuting those objections: and it is as necessary as it ever was to oppose the standard of truth to that of error, so long as our adversaries determine to keep the field, and to maintain the combat. So far from flattering myself that I am striking out a new path, I shall professedly set before you, from time to time, such arguments and testimonies as I am able to collect from others; and shall freely use every author that may be serviceable to the cause which ... I attempt to defend. And if I shall be able to set an old argument in a new light, or even to bring one to remembrance only, I shall be satisfied to be regarded a compiler of evidences, rather than a creator of them; I shall be amply rewarded for my labour, nor will you regret your attendance. When, however, I recollect, that we all gather our stores of knowledge from the writings or conversation of others; that the experience and observation of the wisest of men could furnish him with comparatively little intelligence, were it never permitted to advance beyond it's own immediate sphere; and when in addition to these considerations, I remember , that every man has his own train of thinking, and a mode of expression peculiar to himself, I flatter myself that all which shall be said, will not be borrowed, if all is not exclusively my own; and that something may be advanced in the course of these lectures, which, if it should not surprise by its novelty, may be candidly
received for its justness, and attract by its simplicity and sincerity. - It will be proper, in a few words, to state the immediate purpose of these lectures, and the object of the plan which I am about to suggest: it is simply to meet scepticism on it's own ground in relation to first principles. Is it asserted that the facts recorded in this volume have no evidence? We shall endeavour to prove that they are furnished with all the evidence which events so remote can have, and which Reason ought to require of Time. Is it said that Christianity is a modern invention ? On the contrary, if our purpose be established, it will appear as old as the creation. Is the authority of the scriptures questioned We will produce other testimonies. Is it's history condemned as absurd * We shall attempt to shew that it is perfectly rational; and that all evidences weighed, and all circumstances considered, it is clear that events could not have taken place otherwise than as they are recorded. Is it objected, that it claims support from miracles? It will follow from our representations, if they are made with the strength and clearness which we desire, that such a book, so written, and so supported, could it be proved to be false, would be of itself a greater miracle than any which appears upon it's pages. The facts which it records, are the immediate subo jects of examination in the present course of lectures; and these will be considered in connection with their history, and confirmed by foreign and ancient testimony, under the following arrangement:
The present Lecture, which is merely introductory, will be an attempt to prove the necessity of a divine Revelation.
. The Creation: that the Mosaic account of
it is the only rational one which we have received: -
: The Deluge:
language, the dispersion of the people, and
. The journey of the Israelites in the wilder.
ness; their establishment in Canaan; and
the circumstances attending these events:
The government of the Jews: including
the theocracy and monarchy, to the build