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THE SECOND EDITION.

..-, TO WHICH IS PREFIXED

A LETTER TO ^
Dr. ADAM SMITH.

The doctrine of Epicurus is ever ruinous to Society:
It had it's rife when Greece was declining, and
perhaps hastened it's dissolution, as also that of
Rome; it is now propagated in France and Eng-
land, and seems likely to produce the fame effect
in both; G RAY—M E M O I R S, P. 202.

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PREFACE.

LE T no reader take offence, though the subjects debated in the following pages be of a serious nature, if the ideas and images employed should sometimes border upon the ludicrous. The contest between Elijah and the votaries of Baal was a very serious one, and heaven itself interposed in it's decision. Yet, strong and pointed is the irony of the Prophet —" Cry aloud, M for he is a God; either he is "talking, or he is pursuing, or "he is in a journey, or perada 2 "venture "venture he fleepeth, and must "be awaked !"* Impiety provokes a frown; absurdity occasions a smile; and many who glory in the imputation of the former, cannot but feel when they are convicted of the latter. Some opinions and arguments become risible, on being stated. A portrait is sufficient; a caricature needless; perhaps , impossible. Where such is not the case, nothing, it is hoped, has met with this treatment, unless proved to deserve it. Ridicule is not the test of truth, because truth must always be the test of ridicule -, and

• I Kings Xviii, 27.

he

he who laughs in the wrong place, exposes no character, except his own. But, as the learned and ingenious Dr. Ogilvie has well observed, "He who can "fairly turn the laugh when it "has been raised against him, "will be pardoned readily, pro"vided he has laughed in good "humour." *

* Inquiry into the causes of the infidelity and scepticism of the times. P. 445.

CON

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