lights of the Pagan world were to be the guides of mankind; and that they fell vaitly {hort of the firft teachers and publilhers of Chrifiianity, mean and illiterate as fome have efteemed them.

The Scriptures make the molt ftriking reprefentations of the darknefs and corruptions of the Heathen world. And the antient apologifls for Chrifiianity give the fame account of the ftate of the Pagan nations. They fet themfelves to expofe their grofs idolatry and polytheifm, the impurities and abomihations of their religion and worlhip, their great corruption and diflolutenefs of morals, and the uncertainties and contradictions of their bell writers, and thence argue the great need there was of the ufeful- nefs and nccefiity of the Chriltian Revelation, and the advantage it was of to mankind. And whoever would have a jufi and full

view of the ineftimable benefits and privileges we are made par- takers of by the Gofpel, ought by no means to lofe fight of this;

It is not the intention of any thing that is faid in this book to degrade and vilify human reafon, as if it were of no ufe in reli- gion, and only fit to lead men allray. I am fully perfuaded that reafon, duly exercifed and improved, is very Friendly to religion and morals: and that the main principles of the Chriflian religion, if fct before men in a proper light, Wllll approve themfelves to right reafon, when freed from vicious and finful prejudices. It is by rcafon that we are enabled to detect fall} revelations, and to difccrn the proof-s and evidences of the true, and the glorious cha-

racters of wifdom and goodnefs, of purity and truth, which thine in