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THE FIRST EDITION.
As every attempt to illustrate and recommend such opinions on RELIGION, as oppose the pride of human reason, is obnoxious to misconception, misrepresentation, and rash censure; I think it proper to entreat all who honour this book with their attention, duly to consider the high AUTHORITIES, human as well as scriptural, on which its doctrines are founded; and not to reject opinions in which their own happiness is most deeply concerned, till they shall have invalidated those human authorities, and proved themselves superior in sagacity, learning, and piety, to the great men whose sentiments I have cited in
support of my own.
There is no doubt but that my subject is the most momentous which can fall under the contemplation of a human being; and I therefore venture to claim for it; a dispassionate and unprejudiced consideration.
The moral world, as well as the political, appears, at present, to be greatly out of order.. Moral and political confusion, indeed, naturally produce each VOL. VII.