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COURSE OF LECTURES
DELIVERED AT THE
BY WILSON C. RIDER, A. M.
PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.
DANIEL T. PIKE & CO., PRINTERS.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Maine,
If the opinion of a distinguished philosopher in England, be correct, that every Christian who can write, ought to leave something behind him against infidelity, I may be excused in presenting the following Lectures to the public; seeing the sentiments I have endeavored to expose, are so nearly allied to bare-faced Deism.
The design of this series of Lectures, was to diversify the ordinary course of ministerial instructions, and to bring together various facts and considerations, so that they might aid each other by their arrangement and union. They were prepared, and delivered, without the least intention of publication;—but as soon as they were completed, the Church and Society, for whose benefit they were primarily intended, expressed an earnest wish that they might be given to the public.
With regard to the immediate effect of these Lectures, all the expectations of the author have been more than realized. In offering them to the public he can truly say, that he has yielded with a reluctance, which could be overcome only by an ascertained earnestness, expressed by members of his Church, and his brethren in the Ministry, whose opinion and desire would have weight on the minds of those who knew them. Indulging the hope that they might contribute to establish the wavering; to guide the unwary; and to aid in the dissemination of truth, and in the suppression of a baneful and spreading error, he is now glad that the importunity was expressed and has been complied with; for it has often been remarked to him by those whose sentiments he has here exposed, that the Orthodox do not receive the doctrine of endless punishment as a Bible truth, of the highest practical importance, but as a mere speculative proposition, to be admitted for the purpose of completing a system of theology, and that were they in practice consistent with > their professions they would not manifest so much indifference to the subject, but would endeavor to establish it from reason and revelation, and to impress it upon the public mind. I have felt the reproof. And I fear that in this matter we cannot say, that we are pure from the blood of all men"; and especially that Ministers of the Gospel have not sounded the alarm as loudly, and as repeatedly as they ought to have done. True they have lamented the baneful