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PREFACE.

This book is anonymous. With the exception of a few gentlemen, who kindly assisted in revising the sheets, and reviewing the authorities and notes, it is not probable that any individual out of the writer's family will be able to conjecture, with the least degree of probability, who is *the author of the book. Even the personal friends of the author would not be likely to suspect him of writing this volume. The book will, therefore, stand upon its own merits before the public; and the author will be indulged in making some expressions which a becoming degree of modesty would forbid, were his name upon the title-page,

Occasion of the work. During some of the first years of the writer's active life he was a sceptic; he had a friend who has since been well known as a lawyer and a legislator, who was also sceptical in his opinions. We were both conversant with the common evidences of Christianity. None of them convinced our minds of the Divine origin of the Christian religion, although we both thought ourselves willing to be convinced by sufficient evidence, Circumstances, which need not be named, led the writer to examine the Bible, and to search for other evidence than that which had. been commended to his attention by a much-esteemed clerical friend, who presided in one of our colleges. The result of the examination was a thorough conviction in the author's mind of the truth and Divine authority of Christianity. He supposed at that time, that, in his in. quiries, he had adopted the only true method to settle

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