« ForrigeFortsæt »
able to defend their faith, and that they have seen the conclus siveness of their arguments; but this confidence is of but little service as it respects their influence on others, so long as the arguments are not within their reach, and cannot be wielded by them. Not only so, but the great body of Christians have but little time to read. If their libraries contained a competent number of these books, they would not be able to read sufficiently to obtain those views which we have mentioned. Another of the consequences of this state of things is, some real Christians are bewildered and led away, where they are exposed to the buffetings of error. Others who were once sensible to the influence of truth, and seemed in a fair way to become Christians, are led to embrace errors that extinguish almost every ray of hope in their case. Through the whole of this work, the object has been to present the system of truth before the mind of the reader, in a manner as plain, as concise, and yet as conclusive as possible. It has appeared more important to give the substance of the best arguments, rather than a multiplicity of them, or a few drawn out to a great length. In this way, the author has constantly endeavoured to compass his prominent design-to give the system of truth, and the arguments by which it is supported, in a manner so brief and definite, that both the labour of reading it so as to understand it, and the expense, may be within the power of common people.
A free use has been made of the works which are named at the close of the different subjects. Others have been consulted, but the substance of the various subjects is taken from those that are mentioned. -To expect, in a work like this, to meet the minds of all, even of those who imbibe substantialy the sentiments of the author, would be vain in the extreme. From various causes, different sentiments will appear the most im. portant to different persons; of course, it is impossible that all should be satisfied with the degree of attention that has been paid to each. The whole work has been written under a deep sense of the delicacy of such an undertaking, and of the utter impossibility, especially for one in the circumstances of the author, to accomplish it without exposing himself to criticism. He is not unwilling however to own, that he has cherished an expectation which has afforded him no inconsiderable support under all the trials and embarrassments he has felt. He has flattered himself that a large class of Christians and other inquirers after truth, may be enlightened, and lastingly benefitted by his labours, notwithstanding their imperfections.
New- Haven, October 13, 1825.
INDEX OF SUBJECTS.
IN DE X
world a revelation of his will ?
directions without the influence of the Spirit ? 40
SECTION V. Universal Government of God, 64
SECTION VI. Moral Government of God, 79
we prove that the declaration of the serpent was
all men are sinners, by what means is the execu.
3. What proof have we that an Atonement has been
ment, since nothing but his human nature could suf-
the Atonement, is none are partakers but such as