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1st. To exhibibit an impartial view of the Doctrines of each Religious denomination of the present day, as they are professed by each sect, taken as far as is practicable from their own Creeds or Confessions of faith; and when this could not be done, to use the words of their most respected and distinguished divines.

2d. In order as far as possible, to exclude the spirit of controversy from the work, it has been the practice to present, simply, statements of facts without disputation.

3d. In compiling the work, it has been the aim to render it instructive and interesting; to treat of the numerous sects in such a manner as to avoid giving just cause of offence.


In the following Work, the compiler has made his selections and obtained facts from the best sources with which he was acquainted. He has been most indebted to Dr. Hurd's "Universal History of the Rites, Ceremonies, and Customs of the whole World" to a learned work, entitled "The Religious World displayed," by the Rev. Robert Adam, of Edinburgh: and to a late laborious publication under the title of " The Religions and Religious Ceremonies of all Nations," by the Rev. J. Nightingale.

In the present edition, the volume has been carefully revised, some things expunged, and considerable original matter has been added. The quick sale of the former edition, though large, has induced the compiler to take much pains to make the present one useful to its readers. The more we know of the various religious sentiments of our fellow men, with their multiplied rites and ceremonies, the greater reason shall we perceive to approve of the doctrines and practices of most of the churches in this land, which partake so much of the simplicity that is in Christ. The first Planters of all the early Colonies, which now compose the United States, had a primary regard to the interests of religion in sitting down in the western wilderness. While we walk in their steps the blessings of our Fathers' God will not be withheld from us.

East-Windsor, July 6, 1824.



THE Religious World is divided into four grand Systems, viz. Christianity-Judaism-Mahometanism*and Paganism.

1. Christianity includes all those who believe that the promised Messiah is already come, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, and the Saviour of the world.

2. Judaism, all those who still expect and look for a promised Messiah.

3. Mahometanism, all those who acknowledge Mahomet to have been a Prophet; and

4. Paganism, all those who have not the knowledge of the true God, but worship idols.

The only people who may not be classed under one or other of these four divisions, are, the Deists and the Atheists; the latter differing from them all in owning no religion; and the former, in owning no divine revelation as the foundation of their religion.

The inhabitants of the world may be supposed to amount, at the present time, to about 800,000,000, Of whom we may suppose

The Christians to be

The Jews,

The Mahometans,
The Pagans,




*The name of the Arabian impostor is written differently, by different authors, as Mahomet, Mahomed, Mohammid, &c. As the names Mahomet and Mahometanism, have been generally used in our language, and have the authority of the best writers, they are adopted in this summary.

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