Page images

19 20


1875, March 22,

. Bequest of Jarnes Halker, 90.

, 4.2.0. (H. 2.1814) Piccident of Harv. Point

Cameron of Hume', Printers,



It is not the only, nor even the chief, design of these sheets, to refute the reasoning and objections of Mr. Hume, with regard to miracles : The chief design of them is, to set the principal argument for Christianity in its proper light. On a subject that has been so often treated, it is impossible to avoid saying many things which have been said before. It may, however, with reason, be affirmed, that there still remains, on this subject, great scope for new observations. Besides, it ought to be remembered, that the evidence of any complex argument depends very much on the order into which the material circumstances are digested, and the manner in which they are displayed.

The Essay on Miracles deserves to be considered as one of the most dangerous attacks that have been made on our religion. The danger results not solely from the merit of the piece ; it results much more from that of the author. The piece itself, like every other work of Mr. Hume, is ingenious; but its merit is more of the oratorial kind than of the philosophical. The merit of the author, I acknowledge, is great. The many useful volumes he has published of history, as well as on criticism, politics, and trade, have justly procured him, with all persons of taste and discernment, the highest reputation as a writer. What pity is it, that this reputation should have been sullied by attempts to undermine the foundation both of natural religion, and of revealed !

For my own part, I think it a piece of justice in me, to acknowledge the obligations I owe the author, before I enter on the proposed examination. I have not only been much entertained and instructed by his works; but, if I am possessed of any talent in abstract reasoning, I am not a little indebted to what he has written on human nature, for the improvement of that talent. If therefore, in this tract, I have refuted Mr. Hume’s Essay, the greater share of the merit is perhaps to be ascribed to Mr. Hume himself. The compliment which the Russian monarch, after the famous battle of Poltowa, paid the

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