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OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT
WITH A PARTICULAR VINDICATION
CHARACTER OF MOSES, AND THE PROPHETS, OUR SAVIOUR
AGAINST THE UNJUST ASPERSIONS AND FALSE REASONINGS OF A BOOK,
THE MORAL PHILOSOPHER.
TO WHICH IS ADDED
A DEFENCE OF THIS BOOK
THE EXCEPTIONS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS IN THE SECOND VOLUME OF THE
BY JOHN LELAND, D. D.
PRINTED FOR T. TEGG AND SON, CHEAPSIDE;
R. GRIFFIN AND CO., GLASGOW; T. T. AND H. TEGG, DUBLIN:
ALSO J. AND S. A. TEGG, SYDNEY AND HOBART TOWN.
A JUST liberty of thinking (which on the one hand is not governed by old and popular prejudices, nor on the other hand led aside by the affectation of novelty and a desire of thinking out of the common way,) which hath nothing but truth in view, and the serving the cause of real goodness and righteousness, is certainly one of the noblest things in the world. To be a freethinker in this, which is the most proper sense of the word, must be owned to be an honourable and amiable character. This the enemies of our holy religion are sensible of, and therefore they have done themselves the honour to assume this character as if it were their sole privilege, and a distinction that sets them above the rest of mankind. But as no man is a freethinker or a good reasoner, merely for calling himself so, the justness of their pretensions to that character must be examined by other things than their own confident boastings. If these gentlemen were really what they pretend to be, the sincere lovers and friends of truth, and of a just liberty of thinking, this would appear by their fair and ingenuous way of treating the argument they have undertaken. We should be able to trace in their conduct and in their writings the fair and beautiful lines of candour and sincerity, an impartial love of truth, and an openness of mind to conviction and evidence, a modesty of sentiment, and a calm and serious temper of mind becoming the importance of the inquiry. But I shall hardly be thought severe, if I say, that he that would look for any thing of this kind in the writings of those that have lately appeared amongst us in the cause of infidelity, would find himself very much disappointed. Bold and confident assertions he will everywhere meet with, many things that discover high conceit of their own sagacity and penetration, and a contempt of others that do not think in their way; a willingness to use any arts of misrepresentation to serve their cause; and a strong desire to give an odious or a ludicrous turn to every thing where revelation is concerned; and all covered over with a pretended regard (though it must be owned the disguise is generally very thin) for that religion they are using their repeated endeavours to subvert and to destroy.
But amongst them all there is scarce any who hath rendered himself more remarkable this way than one that hath lately ap