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THE REV. RICHARD WATSON says, “By Christianity is meant, not that Religious System as it may be understood and set forth in any particular Society, calling itself Christian; but as it is contained in the Sacred Books, acknowledged by all these Societies or Churches, and which contain the only authorized Rule of Faith and Practice.
“The lofty Profession which Christianity makes, as a Religion, and the promises it holds forth to mankind, entitle it to the most serious consideration of all. For it may, in truth, be said, that no other Religion presents itself under aspects so sublime, or such as are calculated to awaken desires and hopes so enlarged and magnificent. It not only professes to be from God, but to have been taught to Men, by the Son of God.”—Watson's Theological Dictionary.
The Rev. J. ROBINSON SAYS, “ Religion has been defined the love of God kindled in our Souls, and producing obedience to his WILL.-All Religion supposes and takes for granted the clear and undoubted principles of Natural Religion.-By Natural Religion, is meant obedience to the natural law, and the performance of such duties, as natural light, without any express and supernatural revelation, dictates to Men. Such as, that we should depend on God, implore his aid and assistance in all our necessities and distresses, and acknowledge our obligation to him for all the blessings and benefits which we receive; that we should moderate our appetites, with respect to the pleasures and enjoyments of this world, and use them temperately and chastely; that we should be just and upright in all our dealings, true to our word, faithful to our trust, and act by others, as we would they should act by us; that we should be kind and charitable, merciful and compassionate ; ready to do good to all, and not only to pity, but relieve, if we can, the miserable and necessitous."
“ These and such like particulars, are what we call moral duties; and they are of eternal obligation, because they naturally oblige men, without any express revelation from God. And these great and fundamental duties are the foundation of revealed and instituted Religion; for all revelation from God, supposes us to be men, and alters none of those duties, to which they were before naturally obliged.”
“The New TESTAMENT declares it to be the great design of the Gospel, to instruct us in those duties; and engage us to the practice of them.-RELIGION supplies the only Safe Rule of Life, which a man may follow without the danger of being led wrong. 'He that followeth me,' says our Saviour, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life;' for nothing in the material universe so well represents its nature or describes its usefulness.--Religion alone teaches us how to employ our faculties, both of mind and body, in a manner most conducive to our own welfare ; and suitable to the End for which we came into the WORLD.”—Robinson's Theological Dictionary.
WORKS ON NATURAL THEOLOGY. Among the early Works on Natural Theology, we may mention Ray's Wisdom of God, Manifested in the Works of Creation; which was published sometime between the Years 1682, and 1693.- Derham's Physico-Theology appeared in 1713; and in 1714, he published his AstroTheology; both being the substance of his Boyle's Lectures, with large Notes, and curious Observations.
Dr. Paley's Celebrated Work on Natural Theology, appeared in 1802; and has been much read, and deservedly applauded; and we cannot too highly recommend Lord Brougham's Discourse of Natural Theology ; and Paley's Natural Theology, with Illustrative Notes, by Lord Brougham, and Sir Charles Bell.
We must also mention Fenelon on the Existence of God;-Rennie's Alphabet of Natural Theology ;-Sumner's Records of the Creation and Moral Attributes;- Crombie's Natural Theology; - Duncan's Sacred Philosophy ;-Physical Theory of Another Life ;-Macculloch's Attributes of God;-and Dr. CHALMERS's NATURAL THEOLOGY,
000€ THE BRIDGEWATER TREATISES. The Right HONOURABLE and Rev. Francis Henry, Earl of Bridgewater, died in the Month of Feb. 1829; and in his Last Will and Testament, bearing date the 25th, of Feb. 1825, he directed certain Trustees, therein named, to invest, in the Public Funds, the Sum of £8000; and this Sum, with accruing Dividends, to be held at the Disposal of the President for the Time being, of the Royal Society of London, to be paid to the Person or Persons nominated by him.
The Testator further directed, that the Person or Persons, selected by the said President, should be appointed to write, print, and publish 1000 Copies of a Work “On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation ;” illustrating such Work, by all reasonable Arguments, as for Instance, the Variety and Formation of God's Creatures, in the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Kingdoms; by discoveries, ancient and modern, in the Arts, and Sciences; and by an infinite Variety of other Arguments, extending through the whole COURSE OF LITERATURE.
The Testator also devised, that the Profits of the different Works should be given to their respective Authors.—Now, in Pursuance of this Will and Testament, the following Gentlemen were appointed to write on Particular Subjects; and their Works have been published, and add greatly to the HONOUR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE AND SCIENCE:
1.-The Rev. ROBERT CHALMERS, D.D., On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Adaptation of External Nature, to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of MAN.
2.-John Kidd, M.D., F.R.S., On the Adaptation of External Nature, to the Physical Condition of Man.
3.-The Rev. WILLIAM WHEWELL, M.A., F.R.S., On Astronomy and General Physics, considered with Reference to NATURAL THEOLOGY.
4.-SIR CHARLES Bell, F.R.S., On the Hand; its Mechanism and Vital Endowments, as evincing Design.
5.-Peter MARK Roger, M.D., On Animal and VEGETABLE Physiology.
6.—The Rev. William BUCKLAND, D.D., F.R.S, On Geology and Mineralogy, considered with reference to NATURAL THEOLOGY.
7.—The Rev. WILLIAM KIRBY, M.A., F.R.S., On the Power and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation of Animals, and in their History, Habits, and Instincts.
8.-William Prout, M.D., F.R.S., On Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Functions of Digestion.
9.—THE NINTH Bridgewater Treatise, A Fragment, by CHARLES BABBAGE, Esq.
WORKS ON CHRISTIANITY. The BIBLE is the best of all Books;—" It has God for its Author, Truth for its Subject, and Salvation for its End.”
SEVERAL BIBLES have been published, by different Persons, with very useful and excellent Notes or Expositions, illustrating not only the Christian Doctrines; but also the Manners and Customs of Eastern Nations. These Expositions throw great Light upon many Parts of the Holy Scriptures; and enable us to read them with greater Interest, Pleasure, and ADVANTAGE.
Many of the early Customs and Manners of the Eastern People, are retained among them, to the present Day; and modern Travellers find continual Proof of the Truth of the Relations given in the Old and New TESTAMENT.
Among the Travellers who have recently visited the Site of Babylon, and the Country of the Ancient Chaldeans, We may mention Buckingham, Mignan, Keppel, Porter, Rich, Kinneir, and Keith; and the Names of Pococke, Dallaway, Lindsay, Leake, Arundell, and Hartley, stand promi. nent among recent Travellers in Palestine and Asia Minor,
The Accounts given by all these Gentlemen, tend to prove the complete Fulfilment of many of the Prophecies, in the Old and New Testament, even to the very Letter; and thus showing that the Judgments of Heaven are not casual, but sure; they are not ARBITRARY, but RIGHTEOUS.
The Rev. WILLIAM BURKITT pnblished a Practical Exposition of the New Testament, which is an exceedingly useful Work; and has gone through numerous Editions. The Rev. Matthew Henry's Exposition of
the Bible, is a copious Work; and has been much read by all Denomina tions of Christians.—The Rev. Joseph Benson also published a Bible, with a very Excellent and Practical Exposition.--A very useful Bible was. published in 1818, under the Direction of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge ;-the Notes and Expositions of this Work were prepared and arranged by the Rev. George D'oyly, and the Rev. Richard Mant.—The Rev. Dr. Adam Clarke also published a Bible, with a very Copious, Critical, aud Learned Exposition.
The Rev. Dr. Robinson, published, in 1815, a very useful Theological and Biblical Dictionary, greatly illustrating many Parts of the Old and New Testament; and in 1831, The Rev. Richard Watson produced a most valuable Biblical and Theological Dictionary, explanatory of the History, Manners, and Customs of the Jews, and neighbouring Nations ; with an Account of the most remarkable Places and Persons mentioned in SACRED SCRIPTURE; and an Exposition of the PRINCIPAL DOCTRINES OF CHRISTIANITY.
Mr. Watson also wrote an Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark; with Notes on some other parts of Sacred Scripture ; Universal Redemption of Mankind, the Doctrine of the New Testament; -Sermons and Sketches of Sermons ;-Conversations for the Young, designed to promote the profitable Reading of the Holy Scriptures;-and Theological Institutes, or a View of the Evidences, Doctrines, Morals, and Institutions of Christianity; in Three Volumes Octavo.
This WORK forms an Excellent Introduction to the Study of Divinity; and should be CAREFULLY Read by all YOUNG Men who are called to be MINISTERS of the GOSPEL.
This Book has been much read, by Christians of various Denominations; and is used as a Work of Special Reference, in all the WESLEYAN THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS.
WORKS ON THE EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.
We shall now recommend to our Young Readers, several Excellent Works, on the Evidences of Christianity, the Perusal of which will arm them against the insidious and invidious Attacks of Skeptics and Unbelievers; and will show them the CHRISTIAN RELIGION is founded upon a
Rock, that not only defies the Puny Efforts of Mistaken | Mortals, but against which even the GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL.
MR. ADDISON wrote part of an Excellent Treatise, on the Evidences of the Christian Religion, but did not live to finish it, which is much to to be regretted ; as what he has left us, is most valuable. This little Work was greatly improved by the Notes and Illustrations of the Learned Gabriel Seigneux De Correvon; and translated from the Latin, with additional Notes, by the Rev. DR. PURDY.
Bishop Watson's Apology for the Bible, is a Masterly Work ; and was written in Reply to Thomas Paine's Age of Reason.--The Bishop completely answers all the Sophistical Attacks of Paine, on the Old and New Testament, and on the Christian Religion; and proves him to be
either ignorant of many Parts of the Scriptures, or wilfully blind to their Real and SCRIPTURAL MEANING.
ARCHDEACON PALEY's Evidences of Christianity, is undoubtedly his Best and his Greatest Work; and cannot be too highly recommended to Youth.-Indeed, any Person that will carefully read this Work, will lay it down with a great Acquisition of Knowledge; and with a full Conviction of the TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY.
Dr. Paley's HORR PAULINÆ, on the Truth of the Scripture History of St. Paul, Evinced; is also a Valuable Work, and contains Critical Examinations on all St. Paul's Epistles. This work should be carefully read by all Young Ministers of the Gospel; as it contains Answers to every Objection that has ever been brought against the Genuineness of these EPISTLES.
Here we may likewise mention Lord George Lyttleton's Observations on the Conversion of St. Paul, as a work of inestimable Value; and which no Deist has ever dared to answer.-We may also observe that his Lordship, in his Youth, had been lead into Skepticism ; but mature Research, and Reflection, changed his Principles; and he lived and died a SINCERE CHRISTIAN.
DR. LELAND's View of the Principal Deistical Writers of England, of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, is an invaluable Production, in the Defence of Christianity.-In this work, the Doctor Completely overthrew all the Deistical Objections and Arguments of Tindal, Morgan, Dodwell, Hobbs, Blount, Toland, Collins, Chubb, and Woolaston; and also those of Edward Lord Herbert, of Cherbury ;--Henry Saint-John, Lord Bolingbroke; and Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury.- Dr. Leland's Treatise “On the Advantages and the Necessity of the Christian Revelation,'' is also a Work of INESTIMABLE VALUE.
BISHOP BUTLER's Analogy of Religion, is an Excellent Work ; and ought to be particularly recommended to the Notice of all Young Ministers of the GOSPEL
The Bishop has followed the same method in explaining and elucidating the System of Grace, that Sir Isaac Newton pursued, in unfolding the System of Nature; and has thus founded and completed a happy Alliance between FAITH and PHILOSOPHY.
MR. LESLIE's Short and Easy Method with the Deists; or the Truth of Christianity Demonstrated, has never been answered, and it is UNANSWERABLE.
Dr. Conyers MIDDLETON, feeling how necessary it was, to his Principles, that he should answer Mr. Leslie's Arguments; endeavoured for Twenty Years, without Success, to find Facts and Reasons that would overturn Leslie's "SHORT AND EASY METHOD WITH THE DEISTS.”
DR. DODDRIDGE's Three Sermons, on the Evidences of Christianity, are Admirable Discourses ; and are made the Subject of Study and Examination, in one of the two Principal Colleges, in the University of CAMBRIDGE.
Dr. Watts’s Three Sermons, upon the Inward Witness to Christianity; Jenyns's Internal Evidence of Christianity; and Andrew Fuller's Gospel its own Witness, are all Excellent Works; and, from the very