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النشر الإلكتروني

AC 7 595 v16.

SION COLLEGE LIBRARY.

SOLD BY ORDER OF THE
PRESIDENT AND GOVERNORS 1938.

Lib. Comm.
Hodgson
7-5-39
38677

CONTENTS.

LETTER XCI.

Mr. Hume's objection against the possibility of mira-
cles examined---his dogmatism .censured---The mis-
chievous tendency of infidelity---the unreasonable-
ness and inhumanity of endeavouring to weaken the
most powerful motives to virtue, and to destroy the
best springs of consolation---The beneficial tendency a
strong confirmation of its divine original---The dis-
pute concerning the person difficult, but of little mo-
ment---Nothing absurd or unreasonable in the belief

VOL. IV.

b

of

mankind---its good effects extensive, even beyond
the limits of Christian faith---The religious princi-
ple universally the same; religious forms various---
the tendency of Christianity to simplify religion---
the Christian faith early embraced by enlightened
men---Christian ethics not inconsistent with the in-
terests and duties of society---The death of Christ a
great example---in what sense it was an attonement,
doubtful---The rapid spread of Christianity a proof
of its truth.

LETTER XCV.

Of the establishment of Christianity under Constantine
---hence the abolition of gladiatorial exhibitions---
of exposing children---of slavery---and of immoral
superstitions---The moral tendency of Christianity
alone sufficient to recommend it---its spirit not in-
consistent with vigorous exertions in active life---
its laws productive of human perfection and felicity.

LETTER XCVI.

LETTER XCVII.

Monastic institutions the offspring of persecution---fos-
tered by superstition---yet productive of many pub-
lic advantages---monasteries long the seats of learn-
ing and charity---The Christian fathers not intitled
to implicit regard, but to be admitted as credible wit-
nesses of facts---General survey of the state of Eu-
rope, with respect to knowledge and religion, from
the dissolution of the Roman power to the revival of
letters---fruitless disputes and fierce persecutions from
the time of Constantine---Credulity and intolerance
the leading characters of the dark ages.

LETTER XCVIII.

Comparison of the superstitions of Pagan and Chris-
tian Rome---Origin and use of sacred statues among
the ancients, and of images of saints in the Ro-
mish church---superstitious practices respecting them
---Origin of the doctrine of transubstantiation---of
the Inquisition---State of knowledge among
Christians and the Arabians compared---Destructive
effects of intolerance in the Christian world.

LETTER XCIX.

Monastic seclusion from the world founded on false no-

tions of Christian perfection---social enjoyment in-

nocent---active service meritorious---society the

school of virtue, as well as the field of happiness---

gloomy fanaticism injurious to the cause of Christi-

anity---regard to public opinion one of the chief

springs of action---Intellectual pursuits chiefly valu-

able

the

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