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the author wrong, and their former views confirmed.

The writer is aware that he has treated some long established opinions with great freedom, but he has endeavored to do so with candor and honesty. Entertaining a profound respect for the religious sentiment, notwithstanding the absurd forms, ceremonies and customs with which it has been connected, he hopes to render it more productive of good, by exhibiting the evils which some of these ceremonies and customs have caused mankind, and which will continue to afflict them, unless they are abandoned.

From the slight view given in this work, of different religions, the reader may see the vast superiority of that of Christ, even in promoting the physical welfare of mankind; though he will also see that its incomparable purity has often been marred, and its spirit entirely misapprehended, by the ignorance of some, and the ambition of others.

In giving this book to the public, the author indulges the hope, that it will have some influ

ence in restoring the worship of Christians to that calm, simple and pure manner, recommended by our Saviour, and thus prove serviceable to the cause of rational and scriptural piety; while at the same time it tends to suppress all fanatical conduct, inimical to the religion of Christ, and injurious to the health and physical advancement of mankind.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION.

Remarks on the Religious Sentiment, 13-24.

CHAPTER I.

OF HUMAN SACRIFICES.

Of Human Sacrifices among the ancient Egyptians, Scythians, Persians, &c. 26-Among the Greeks and Romans, 27-Gauls, Germans, and Northern Nations, 28Manner in which men were sacrificed, 29-Human Sacrifices among the Hebrews, 30-Carthagenians, 32--Remarks of Plutarch, 33-Human Sacrifices among the South American Indians, 36-In North America, 38In the British Islands, 39-China, 40-India, 41--In the islands of the South sea and the Pacific Ocean, 45-Decline of the Custom, 46--Concluding Remarks 47.

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Circumcision, 49-Prevailed before the time of AbrahamPhysical reasons for it-Covenant with Abraham respecting, 50-Practiced on Females, 51-Mahometans have recourse to it, 52-Not commanded by Christ, 53. Emasculation. Syrian priests practiced it-The Almighty

The first portion of the work, treats of past times, and of religions, and forms of religious worship, that have long since passed from civilized communities.

Some allusion to them, however, seemed proper, especially to show that religious customs and institutions are changeable and progressive, and have constantly improved and been rendered more useful to mankind, as civilization and knowledge have increased.

Other portions of the work are devoted to considerations arising from some of the forms of Christian worship. In remarking upon these, the author at first, may, be accused of advancing very unscriptural opinions. But he begs his readers, before coming to any conclusion, to give the whole work an unprejudiced perusal, and also to study the New Testament. upon the subjects alluded to, free from all preconceived opinions, as if it was a work but just issued from the press-to study it with all the aids which history and science will afford them, and above all, to study it with as sincere and ardent desire to find the exact truth, as to find

the author wrong, and their former views confirmed.

The writer is aware that he has treated some long established opinions with great freedom, but he has endeavored to do so with candor and honesty. Entertaining a profound respect for the religious sentiment, notwithstanding the absurd forms, ceremonies and customs with which it has been connected, he hopes to render it more productive of good, by exhibiting the evils which some of these ceremonies and customs have caused mankind, and which will continue to afflict them, unless they are abandoned.

From the slight view given in this work, of different religions, the reader may see the vast superiority of that of Christ, even in promoting the physical welfare of mankind; though he will also see that its incomparable purity has often been marred, and its spirit entirely misapprehended, by the ignorance of some, and the ambition of others.

In giving this book to the public, the author indulges the hope, that it will have some influ

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