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mandments, as comprising the substance of
THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS
* To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.”
Is, viii. 20.
The original design of this compendious work was, in some respects, different from the direction which it took during the course of its publication. The author intended, by a series of Essays, each comprised in a single number, to guard the minds of young people, especially, against the infidelity and scepticism of modern times, as well as to give a distinct view of the grand peculiarities and excellent tendency of genuine christianity. He purposed, not to be strictly methodical, argumentative, or systematic: but to treat a variety of subjects in a familiar, easy, and engaging
The attempt, however, soon convinced him, that he had not the requisite talents for Essays of this description; and that he must leave it to persons of a more versatile and happy genius, to furnish that species of publication which seems most suited to the present circumstances and best adapted to the taste of modern readers.
As, however, the Essays first published met with great encouragement, and had considerable circulation, he proceeded on the plan to which he found himself most competent: and without the least previous design, he at length completed, according to his views, a compendious System of the Christian Religion.
In the present edition, great pains have been bestowed, in correcting the inaccuracies of the style; in rendering perspicuous such passages, as had been left rather obscure