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ties as well as Christianity, but that those difficulties are incomparably greater and more formidable : for, while the alleged difficulties attendant upon Christianity have repeatedly met with an adequate solution, though deistical writers are accustomed confidently to urge and reurge them without taking the slightest notice of the answers which have been so often afforded ; the difficulties attendant upon Infidelity are of such a nature, that they never can be solved to the satisfaction of an unbiassed and rational inquirer. Hence results the plain and self-evident conclusion, that, since Infidelity is encumbered by more and greater difficulties than Christianity, to adopt the infidel system evinces more credulity than to adopt the Christian system.

The principle, in fine, of the argument, which has been prosecuted throughout the ensuing pages, is the reductio ad absurdum. By a specification of the immense and insuperable difficulties which on all sides beset his system, the deistical infidel, even on ground of his own selection, is convicted of gross irrationality.

August 6, 1923.

It will be proper to state, that this work was written as a competitory Treatise on the proposition, That there is more credulity in the disbelief of Christianity than in the belief of it: a proposition, which was adopted by the Church Union Society in the Diocese of St. David's, as the subject of their Essay for the year 1823.

January 20th, 1824.

CONTENTS.

The difficulties attendant upon deistical Infidelity in regard to its

possible grounds and reasons. p. 17.

It is useful not to suffer Infidelity to be always the assailant of re-

vealed religion, but occasionally to carry the war into the coun-

try of the enemy himself. By such a process it will be found,

that to reject revelation evinces more credulity than to retain

it : because the difficulties attendant upon unbelief are greater

than the difficulties attendant upon belief. p. 17.

1. A statement of the possible grounds and reasons of Infidelity

1. A discussion of the first possible ground, that a revelation

from heaven cannot, in the very nature of things, take

place. p. 19.

2. A discussion of the second possible ground, that a revelation

from heaven is in itself so improbable an occurrence that it

beggars all credibility. p. 20.

3. A discussion of the third possible ground, that the evidences,

upon which our reception of a system claiming to be a
divine revelation is demanded, are so unsatisfactory, that

they are insufficient to command our reasonable assent.
4. A discussion of the fourth possible ground, that numerous

objections exist in the case of each system claiming to be a

divine revelation; which objections cannot be answered

5. A discussion of the fifth possible ground, that as various

theological systems have alike claimed to be revelations

from heaven, the presumption is, that all these systems are

equally impostures. p. 27.

6. A discussion of the sixth possible ground, that our unassisted

reason is sufficient, and therefore that a revelation is unpe.

cessary, p. 29.

B

1. Prooss of the fact of the universal deluge. p. 59.

1. Historical proof, built upon the attestation of all nations to

the fact of a general deluge. p. 60.

(1.) The substance of the tradition prevalent ainong all na-

tions. p. 61

(2.) The tradition embodied in the national mythology and

religion of every people. p. 62.

2. Physiological proof, built upon the existing phenomena of the

globe which we inhabit. p. 64.

(1.) No circumstance is more thoroughly established in geolo-

than that the crust of our globe has been subjected

to a great and sudden revolution by the agency of water.

(2.) Various physical matters testify, that this great revolution

cannot have happened at a more remote period than five

or six thousand years ago. p. 65.

3. Moral proof, built upon the progress of civilization. p. 73.

(1.) Civilization has always a natural tendency to spread

itself more and more widely, while barbarism has a

natural tendency to contract itself within more and more

narrow linits. p. 73.

(2.) With this view of the matter, all history, down to the

present time, perfectly agrees. p. 75.

(3.) 'The necessary inference from such facts. p. 77.

II. The additional fact, of a direct intercourse between man and

his Creator or (in other words) of a revelation from God to

man, demonstrated from the established fact of an universal

deluge. p. 77.

1. The supposition, that the deluge did not cover the tops of

the mountains and that men and animals preserved them-

selves by escaping to their summits, shewn to be untenable.

2. The supposition, that a family escaped in a ship built acci-

dentally and not in consequence of a divine revelation,

shewn to be equally untenable. p. 80.

3. The final result is, that, if the fact of the deluge he admitted,

we shall find ourselves compelled to admit also the addi-

tional fact, that a revelation of God's purposes to his crea-

ture inan bas assuredly taken place as we find it recorded

in Holy Scripture. p. 83.

p. 79.

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