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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836,

BY JOHN S. TAYLOR,

In the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New-York.

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4-6-1932

PREFACE.

THE following work is not a compilation of the Evidences of Christianity. It was written with a hope to excite those who need such research, to read many Authors on that subject. A book which does not contain a summary of arguments against Infidelity, may provoke an appetite to read volumes where those arguments are found. The Evidences of Christianity are not fully contained in any half-score of volumes now existing.

The most of those who have written, have aimed at nothing more than an abridgement of this subject; because of its unusual extent. We may present reasons for investigation, and we may persuade others to read in a shorter space, than that which is required to contain a full array of facts in support of Revelation. The following pages were written with a design of urging the multitude to become informed concerning the Book of Books, the Bible. The call for such an attempt, the necessity for it at the present time,—we think fairly inferrible from the following facts.

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FIRST FACT.-It is true, that in almost every congregation, there are some, more or less imbued with Infidelity, who do not avow it. They are not confirmed skeptics; but Satan's grand effort to prevent their commencing the work of repentance, or seeking the pardon of sin, is made by suggesting unbelieving doubts. The minister who has been long hoping, and looking with unceasing anxiety to see them leave the world, never was thus harrassed himself, and does not dream of their real condition. Again there are countless thousands of the youthful and the uninformed, who are thus kept inactive. Temptations of unbelief cripple or prevent their exertions. Books on this subject are found, for the most part, only in ministers' libraries; and they are scarce there; and, moreover, those found there are not calcuated, altogether, to fit the cases we are now noticing. Those authors aim at cavils the most plausible (only) and strike at infidel objections most worthy of answer: whereas the youths thus injured, are very often influenced by arguments, puerile in the extreme, and so feeble that the better informed would never believe they could be used.

SECOND FACT.-The adversary of souls would not have young professors (and possessors) of religion, to grow in grace. To prevent it, he injects into their minds, cold, unbelieving cavils, which embarrass and retard their march. They read on the subject authors that are powerful and unanswerable in the truths they present; but they have no effect on the young in

quirers, for they are not sufficiently simplified and extended. They are invincible in the view of those who are familiar with chronology and history; but they suit the educated alone. It has been long true with the author of the following pages, that, after trying to speak on the subject, he has been addressed by young pilgrims, who have told him they rejoiced he had noticed a certain infidel quibble: that it had long harrassed them; that they knew it was weak and puerile; but had still been annoyed without having heard the proper answer given.

THIRD FACT.—Infidelity is now growing and spreading as the blindness of the Church does not suspect: Pocket volumes of false statements; Infidel manuals; painted perversions of history, &c. are spreading profusely whilst opposite publications are growing more

rare.

There are many thousands more in our land, now growing up in the darkest unbelief, than is known or suspected by any, except those, who once themselves fought in that division of Satan's army.

FOURTH FACT.--Those who read on this subject, in the Church, are few; and Christians are, to a great extent, but poorly calculated to instruct, or to answer the objections of skeptics against their holy religion.

It has a bad influence on the youthful spectator who notices a leader in society, "a gray-headed professor," unable to answer the cavil of an uninformed mocker. It has a bad influence on a youthful inquirer, who applies

for assistance against some sophism of Infidelity, to one of God's people, and does not receive it.

FIFTH FACT. Is not the age of Infidelity approaching, along with the time of terrible judgments?

In a great part of Catholic Europe, are not ninetenths of the population almost total atheists?

In Great Britain, do not two-thirds of the people sincerely hiss at God's Holy Volume ?

Is not our own Nation walking down the same track?

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