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NOTICE TO THE SCEPTIC.
HOWEVER Sceptical any person may be with regard to the doctrines inculcated by the Christian faith, he will not deny, that the subject to which those doctrines relate, is one of the deepest interest to man. He will not, upon slight grounds, refuse to receive a religion, which professes to possess a balm for all the sorrows of this life, which boasts the power of disarming death of its terrors and its sting, and which offers herself as a sure guide to an eternity of indescribable happiness and glory. He will not, upon slight grounds, disregard those threats of vengeance, those awful warnings, that give assurance of eternal misery and remorse, which the same religion proclaims to those who renounce her offers of salvation. No man, in possession of his faculties, would be induced to discard such a religion, until a candid and strict examination into its pretensions to credibility had assured him of its fallacy and imposture. The sceptic, then, it is presumed, is an unbeliever, because the evidence in support of the truth of Christianity appears to him inconclusive. Such being the case, he will not refuse to
dedicate a few more hours to the examination of farther testimony. He is requested to peruse deliberately, the following exposition of Christianity, and to examine dispassionately the proofs upon which this exposition rests. He need not dread being entangled in the labyrinths of polemical divinity, for the conductor of the following analysis has referred solely to the Bible for information. He need not dread the refinements of criticism, nor be apprehensive lest the acquirements of the scholar place the subject without the sphere of his comprehension; for in this exposition nothing like criticism is attempted, nothing is displayed which the most humble intellect may not comprehend. Let him, then, be persuaded to examine the views which this analysis exhibits; he will find, that little claim is made upon his time, and none upon his skill or erudition. If the examination should happily dispel his doubts, and confirm his unsettled belief, he will not consider his time as mis-spent. If, after a deliberate perusal of the whole volume, he renounces Christianity as an imposture, it must be said of him, as it was said of the brethren of the unhappy rich man, If he hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will he be persuaded though one rose from the dead.
The investigation, of which the following exposition is the result, was undertaken and
NOTICE TO THE SCEPTIC.
pursued solely for private use; it was prosecuted amidst the various interruptions incidental to the practice of an active profession; and it was conducted by a person totally unacquainted with the literature of divinity. The candid
reader, therefore, will excuse any want of skill which may be apparent, either in the conduct of the analysis, or in the statement of the results; while the sceptic will, probably, feel less reluctance in examining an exposition of the Bible, which comes from the hands of a Layman, than he would feel in perusing a more erudite and laboured treatise on Christianity which came from the pen of a professed Divine. So great has been the zeal of many persons in this age, in advocating the cause of infidelity, that a Layman, who exposes the invalidity and fallacy of their arguments, may venture to hope for the countenance and approbation even of those learned and venerable men who are the legitimate defenders of our holy faith.