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Being in the profession of the law, and accustomed to the discussion of proof, it occurred to me to apply the rules, with which I was thereby familiar, to the subject of the Christian Religion; and in that way I produced a short treatise on its evidences. I presented it to my family, and afterwards published it under the title of a Father's Gift; and, much to my satisfaction, it was most favourably received by the public, and had a very wide circulation. I afterwards wrote, and gave to the world, another small work called a Father's Second Present. The principal part of it consisted of those views which might have been supposed to have occurred to an enlightened and unprejudiced heathen, had he been led to visit Jerusalem in the time of our Saviour; with what might be considered to have been his reasonings there, on a comparison of the true
religion with the pagan theologies; and on a contrast of the morals of even the most advanced ancient nations, with the beautiful system which Christ was then introducing among mankind. These Treatises were published ten or twelve years ago ; and since then I have been occasionally adding to and improving my stock of Essays.
A select number of these others, with those formerly published, form the subject of this little work; and they are here arranged in the order in which the perusal of them, as appears to me, may be most advantageous, as forming a distinct and regular system. Thus, the existence and attributes of Deity being at the foundation of all religion, a Treatise on Natural Religion is placed first. After that follows a short but accurate enquiry into the Evidences of Revealed Religion. Then comes an Essay on the Immortality of the Soul, founded both on reason and on revelation. Next in order is a view of what may be imagined to have been the sound ideas of a learned and enlightened heathen, had he been induced to have gone to Judea in the days of Christ, to have heard his instructions, witnessed his miracles, and maturely considered the