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These things are written that ye may believe that Jesús
is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye
John XX. 31.
PRINTED AT THE MISSION PRESS,
In presenting this Edition of the following Es
say before the British, and other Europeans, reliding in India, no apology is deemed necessary. With respect to the Essay itself, its own qualities will speak for it. The weight of the subject-the force and point of the reasoning—the perspicuous and masculine qualities of the style the sterling good sense, sound learning, and warm philanthrophy of the AUTHOR ;-these are the merits it displays: they will prove its best apology; and make room for its passage through every circle of society; while the regular division of the matter into short and comprehensive sections, will render it acceptable to those who either want leisure or patience, inclination or fortitude, to encounter an unpartitioned book.
The upright in heart will profit by the perusal: their faith in the Gospel will be confirmed, and a consequent increase of devout sentiment and practical piety, will be produced. And it may not perhaps be too much to say, that the Deifit, for whose use the Essay was originally composed, will here find himself addressed in language polite and respectful; and his sentiments investigated with fairness and candour.
The amazing difference between christianity as taught by Christ himself, and by his Apostles, and as corrupted, mangled, and distorted, by the pride, the inventions, and the fanaticism of men, appears. in a very striking manner in the following Essay,
An attentive perusal may enable the reader to discriminate. Having read to the end, he will scarcely be able to prevent cxcluiming--" May Christianity, pure as it came from its Divine Author, speedily cover the earth as the water's cover the sea!"
The daily extending aspect of the British Dominions in India, feems to promise the most important facilities for the spread of divine knowledge. The many liberal minded, and pious persons, who at present in this country, fill offices of the highest responsibility, both in His Majesty's and in the Honorable Company's service; in the Army, Navy, Civil and Commercial establishments; in public and in private concerns, is also a most promising circumstance. To these worthy persons, the Editor presumes to recommend the following work :-partly, that they themselves may be edified ; but especially that either by lending it, or, giving it away, to young gentlemen rising up in. the service, the poison of infidelity. may be pre-, vented from infecting the minds of those into, whose hands the political and commercial interests of these vast countries, must shortly fall.
Many of the highly respectable class of persons . now mentioned, have sons, brothers, nephews, relatives, and the sons of their particular friends, just commencing the career of public life, under their
These will soon be widely scattered through the Provinces and Refidencies; and those whose business lies in the sea, will have an extensive intercourse with the natives on the coast, and in the Ifands, from Surat to Canton-from Canton to the Cape of Good Hope. They will: be surrounded with inducements to every vice..
cye, in India.
Vice indulged, destroys the battlements of the mind, defeats, in a great measure, the end of thes best education, and makes the arratis of Deiím easy: If thç fafcinsicu115 s. Deiim fcize the heartad conscious guilt render it defirah! that to pure and holy a religion as the which the Gospel
tardarts, may not be true, then there is an end to the delicacy.of moral feeling; and the bewitching idea' that all religions are alike good, or none of them true, like an impoisoned Toporific, will spread its golden tho’alas! deadly Numbers thro' every power of the soul. To endeavour to prevent so great an evil, is at once both an act and an evic dence of true friendship.. Placed in a great variety of situation; the young gentlemen just referred to, will have an influence, each in his own fphere. The more firmly a conviction of the truth, excellence, and importance, of the Gospel, be rivetted in their minus, so much the more purity, moderation, justice, benevolence, piety, and usefulness, will be displayed in their lives. There' are perhaps few books of human composition, in all respects, so well adapted to produce this conviction and these effects, in their minds and conduct, as the Essay before us is. The aggregate influence of such a conduct, on the improvement, the morals, and the happiness of society at large, would be very great: human woes would be diminished, and the progress of the Gospel accelerated;—the light of christian truth would gradually banish the darkness of Pagan philosophy, and Mahomedan
and its fimple, useful, divine, Institu tions, take the place of that heterogeneous mass of degrading superstition, under which millions of the Inhabitants of India and China, now lie buried..