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lation made, in the first instance, to the common parent of all mankind, and by him transmitted to those of his descendants who survived the general deluge, of which event I could not but acknowledge that all history and the formation of the globe itself gave the most indisputable proofs. To the same source could I, after much deliberation and enquiry, trace the important and holy rite of sacrifice, common to almost every nation under heaven, and, as it should seem, coëval with man himself; and to some such source as this, I considered whatever there was of truth in the sentiments and writings of any of the ancient philosophers in respect of these points must be attributed ; and that in these matters they, merely by the unassisted powers of reason, could advance no further than we are now capable of doing.

* As to the discoveries of the most celebrated of Grecian sages, deducing the notions of a Supreme Being from nature and reason, and a state of immortality and rewards and punishments, all this, which is ascribed to their philosophy, may clearly be traced backward through the Egyptians and Phænicians to the descendants of Deucalion, or Noah: and of those more brilliant conceptions attributed to Roman philosophers and the Sybilline oracles, it must be admitted, without doubt, that they were in possession of

Thus, then, like Lyttleton and West, though I sat down with the intention of disproving all this, by a simple and honest adherence to the plain dictates of conscience, and the clear unsophisticated conclusions of reason, I was forced into the belief of a divine revelation; and this revelation I found not only to correspond with, but to receive support and incontrovertible evidence from, the works of nature, the one completely and in all points harmonizing with the other. Having reached this point in the progress of investigation, and having been carried onward by the force of truth, in spite of all my former prejudices, and the seductions of that sophistry, by which I had been misled, I became deeply interested in the pursuit, and at length was instigated to undertake a calm and sober consideration of the evidences for and against the .sacred volume, and fairly and impartially to examine whether it was, as so many held it to be, a work proceeding immediately from the Spirit of God, or merely a composition of human wisdom. Conviction of its divine truth and inspiration was the result. Light flashed upon my mind in so strong and vivid a manner, that it was irresistible, and I became, certainly, a more firm believer, in the great work of revelation, in proportion to the degree of my former infidelity. Bent upon fixing more deeply the impression wrought upon my sense and feeling, I seized with avidity the sacred book itself, determined to make myself master of its contents: and that I might not, in any way, be prejudiced by the opinions of others, I commenced reading it, without either note or comment; - but I soon came to a check, for, ignorant of the customs and manners of early times, -- ignorant of the style and manner of the ancient writers, -at a loss how to unravel the brevity of chronicles that treated of circumstances, persons, and things, of distant ages, and unable to divine the meaning of phrases which length of time and disuse had rendered obscure and unintelligible, I found myself utterly incapable of proceeding; what I then experienced has since frequently been recalled to my mind by the observation of the acute and learned Balguy: 6. To this delusive dream of human folly,

a book containing the adulterated fragments of the true prophecies. - See Bp. Horsley's Dissertations on the Prophecies of the Messiah dispersed among the Heathens.

founded only on mistaken interpretations of Scripture, I answer in one word,

open your Bibles, - take the first page that occurs in either Testament, and tell me, without disguise, is there nothing in it too hard for your understanding? If you find all before you clear and easy, you may thank God for giving you a privilege which he has denied to so many thousand of sincere believers.” I collected, therefore, the most approved and standard commentators, as guides to carry me through the reading of the Old Testament; and, for the New, that I might be biassed by the opinions, feelings, and prejudices of no sect or party, I took up the Greek text, accompanied by Parkhursts and Schleusner's Lexicons, and, with these, in the course of a year, made myself conversant with the whole of the Lex sacra.

Finding, however, that I could not satisfactorily deduce a system of doctrines for my conduct and belief, , I now resolved upon investigating the tenets of the leading sects of Christians among ourselves; and as all my relatives and most of my

former friends had professed the doctrines of the Establishment, that I might be less biassed by the natural desire of associating my sentiments and feelings with theirs, I thought it more just not to consider the principles and tenets of the Church, until I had weighed those of the chief dissenters from it.

The result of this I forbear at present to disclose, but will leave it to appear in the order of things, as I retrace some of the various means of information to which I had recourse, that I might ultimately, arrive at a conscientious and fair conclusion.

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