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of Divine revelation, and of human philosophy is TRUTH; and truth, rightly understood, cannot be inconsistent with itself.
The evils in question have principally arisen from moral and metaphysical philosophy, and are of such a nature as require not a superficial, but a thorough and radical examination. This, however, does not render it impossible to treat the subject in a perspicuous and engaging style. The poisonous influence of a subtle scepticism has been extensively diffused, and mingles more with the principles and maxims of common life than most men are aware of. Men of science also have frequently been strongly infected with the erroneous doctrines of Hume, and some other acute reasoners. All, therefore, are interested in the inquiry. If allowed to remain, the mischief will only spread farther through the system. It is necessary to strike at the very root of the evil, by
pointing out, in a satisfactory manner, the true relations of philosophy and religion.
The author was led to undertake this very difficult and important investigation, from having, at one period, suffered much from the erroneous and ill-defined notions of philosophy above alluded to. He sought diligently, in the writings both of divines and philosophers, for a satisfactry solution of the difficulties, and had these afforded it, the present treatise never would have been written. But there is, hitherto, no work in existence which considers in a thorough and satisfactory manner the true bearings of philosophy upon religion. Even Bishop Butler's admirable "Analogy of Natural and Revealed Religion, with the Constitution and Course of Nature," rather silences than satisfies. The present is, therefore, a desideratum both in philosophy and in religion; and being the result of a deep and ardent investigation
of the subject through seven or eight years, with a single eye to truth, it is now humbly offered to the public, in the hope that it may be serviceable also to other minds, as it has been, in an eminent degree, beneficial to the author.
Nor is he without some expectation that it may contribute to introduce more unity of opinion among Christians, and may tend to simplify the study of theology by reducing it to principles. The roots of most controversies are to be found in preconceived opinions, and false philosophy; and one of the best methods of expelling these erroneous notions, is to introduce and establish a true and sound philosophy, on a firm basis of clear and simple principles.
And now, on deliberately surveying the work which he has executed, he feels deeply humbled for the feebleness with which he has addressed
himself to so lofty and extensive a subject; yet not without a mixture of gratitude that he has been enabled even thus feebly to accomplish it, and a humble but assured hope that the seed of truth, thus sown in weakness, shall yet be raised in
20th December, 1836.