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IT hath appeared to the Author of this book, from more than ten years' meditation upon the subject, that the chief obstacle to the progress of divine truth over the minds of men, is the want of its being properly presented to them. In this Christian country there are, perhaps, nine-tenths of every class who know nothing at all about the applications and advantages of the single truths of revelation, or of revelation taken as a whole ; and what they do not know, they cannot be expected to reverence or obey. This ignorance, in both the higher and the lower orders, of Religion, as a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart, is not so much due to the want of inquisitiveness on their part, as to the want of a sedulous and skilful ministry on the part of those to whom it is entrusted.
This sentiment may seem to convey a reflection upon the clerical order ; but it is not meant to reflect upon them so much as to turn their attention to the subject. They must be conscious that reading is the food of thought, and thought the cause of action ; and therefore, in what proportion the reading of a people is impregnated with religious truth, in that proportion will the conduct of a people be guided into religious ways. We must, therefore, lay our hand upon the press as well as