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BY DAVID PICKERING,
Pastor of the First Universalist Church and Society.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken
unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things."

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” ST. PAUL.

PROVIDENCE.
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL W. WHEELER.

Cranston & Knowles, Printers.

1830.

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Rhode Island District, sc.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on this tenth day of February, [L. S.) A. D. one thousand eight hundred and thirty, and in the

fifty-fourth year of the independence of the United States of America, Samuel W. Wheeler, of said District, deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the following words to wit :

"Lectures in Defence of Divine Revelation, delivered at the Universalist Chapel in Providence, R. I. by David Pickering, Pastor of the First Universalist Church and Society."

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, bath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things.

“Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.”—St. Paul.
In conformity to an act of Congress of the United States, entitled

an act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned,” and also to an act entitled “ an act supplementary to an act entitled an act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the time therein mentioned and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, etching and engraving historical and other prints."

BENJAMIN COWELL,
Clerk of the Rhode Island District.

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LECTURE I.

The existence of God proved by the works of nature, and the evi-

dences drawn from physical science ; together with the nature of

that service which he requires of mankind, and the moral fitness,

duty, necessity and advantages of Prayer.

7

Text--JOB xxi. 15. “What is the Almighty, that we should

serve him and what profit should we have if we pray unto him ?

LECTURE II.

The necessity of a Divine Revelation, drawn from the history of man,

with and without a revelation, contrasted.

25

Text-- Isaiah xl. 5. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together.”

LECTURE III.

Same subject continued.

- 37

LECTURE IV.

The credibility of the Mosaic History established by the testimony

of profane historians, who have borne witness to some of the lead-

ing and most important facts which it contains.

· 48

Text-Exodus iii. 11. “And Moses said unto God, Who am I,

that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the chil-

dren of Israel out of Egypt

LECTURE V.

The History of the Deluge, supported by well established facts, and

the concurrent testimony of some of the most ancient nations. 59

Text-St. Luke xvii. 27 *They did eat, they drank, they mar-

ried wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe en.

tered into the ark : and the flood came and destroyed them all.”

LECTURE VI.

Same subject continued.

- 70

LECTURE VII.

The destruction of Sodom and the Cities of the Plain, proved by the

acknowledgment of early profane writers, and by evidences still

remaining on the spot.

• 80

Text — II Peter ii. 6. “ And turning the cities of Sodom and Go-

morrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them

an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly."

LECTURE VIII.

The Prophetic Character of Moses, established by astonishing pre-

dictions, which have been, for ages, and are still fulfilling. - - 91

Text-St. John, v. 46, 47. “ Had ye believed Moses, ye would

have believed me : for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his

writings, how shall ye believe my words ?"

LECTURE IX.

Same subject continued.

103

LECTURE X.

The prophetical writings of the Old Testament are identified with

the history of the Jews, and cannot be overthrown without de-

stroying their history.

119

Text-Acts xxvi. 27. “Believest thou the prophets ?”

LECTURE XI.

The life, labors, ministry, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus

Christ, supported by plain and stubborn facts.

131

Text-HEBREWs i. 1, 2. "God, who at sundry times and in

divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath ap-

pointed heir of all things."

LECTURE XII.

Same subject continued.

142

LECTURE XIII.

Proofs of the genuineness and authenticity of the Books of the New

Testament.

159

Text-St. LUKE i. 1-4. “ Forasmuch as many have taken in

hand to set in order a declaration of those things which are most

surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which

from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word ; it

seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all

things from the very first, to write unto thee, in order, most excellent

Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things

wherein thou hast been instructed.”

LECTURE XIV.

Some of the leading causes of infidelity considered, and the hopes

of skepticism compared with those which Revelation unfolds. 180

Text-St. Joun, x. 20, 21. “And many of them said, He hath

a devil and is mad ; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not

the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of

the blind ?"

LECTURE XV.

Same subject continued.

200

TO THE READER.

When the author commenced this course of Lectures, he had no expectation that they would ever be requested for the press ; nor had he any object to secure, except that of guarding the minds of ihose who attended on his ministry against the insidious influence of modern infidelity, which, like the pestilence, walketh in darkness, and wasleth at noon-day. And while he is aware that these Lectures are far from being the best which could have been produced upon the general merits of the subjects which they embrace, he is nevertheless conscious that they have been preparrd from the purest motives, and with an ardent and sincere desire to promote the knowledge and practice of revealed religion.

The eye of the critic will doubtless discover many imperfections, both in the style and method of arrangement; but the arrangement is that which first suggested itself, when the plan of these Lectures was hastily drawn up : And as it respects the style, the author has aimed at nothing but plainness and simplicity, which he thinks is better adapted to a subject which requires the united force of argument and evidence, than any rhetorical embellishments which lay within his reach.

As several of the following Lectures were written and delivered before they were demanded for the press, it is possible that some parts of sentences may have been taken from those authors which were consulted, without giving due credit for the same : should any instances of this kind occur in the following pages, the reader is hereby assured that they are unintentional.

The author is aware hat he passed by many important subjects, contained in the Scriptures, and which are supported by the authority of profane historians; and he

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