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which is not perhaps altogether suitable to the mildness of the gospel of peace, and which has at any rate an obvious tendency to indispose many from listening to their instructions. The antagonists. of religion, accordingly, have not failed to take advantage of these errors; and have spared no pains to render their productions smooth, easy, and agreeable. " Fas est et ab hoste doceri ;” and there really seems to be no reason why the children of this world should always be wiser in their generation, than the children of light!
Such is the object of these discourses: of the execution the public must judge. I have ventured to give them the title of “ a series;" because, though they were written at different times, and without any precise view to their present arrangement, they seem to have such a mutual coherence and dependency, a's to be read with advantage in the order in which they now stand.
At all events, it is hoped, they will appear to possess at least that “uniformity of thought and design which (to use the words of the admirable Butler) will always be found in the writings of the same person, when he writes with simplicity, and in earnest.”
R. M. Edinburgh, 17th December, 1808.