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CLAIMS OF THE GOSPEL
REV. JOEL PARKER, D.D.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
AND 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD;
AND BY THE BOOKSELLERS,
A few verbal alterations have been made in this reprint,
and a passage relating to geology has been omitted.
The object of the following pages is to induce the young to devote themselves to the service of their Saviour.
I have not thought it well to attempt to beguile them into a little religious instruction, by employing a pleasing narrative, as the vehicle of truth. While such a beating out of the gold of the gospel into thin leaves is not without its use, and while we under great obligations to those writers who have skilfully blended entertain
ment with instruction, our modern religious literature partakes, perhaps, too largely of that character. Patient thought is essential to the formation of sound. religious principles. Sooner or later, by some means or other, every one who will become a stable and useful Christian must learn to
If my reasonings shall seem to some above the comprehension of the young, I beg that such persons will consider that there is a portion of our educated and reflecting youth, who feel themselves complimented by the respect shown for their powers in such a strain. Some are weary of wandering through forests, and over prairies and fields, and by the side of meandering streams, to
_" find sermons in stones,"
and to gather up religious truth from natural scenery, from colloquial discourse, and the startling incidents of a well-planned tale.
The mother that conforms her speech to the lisping and imperfect accents of her infant, though she may amuse, does not teach her child so rapidly as she would if she were to keep up an exact pronunciation of her vernacular tongue, as the standard for her imitative pupil. There is something analogous to this in the style of thinking to which different writers invite the young. We may lisp prettily with them, or ask them to speak out boldly with us. descend to their modes of thinking, entertain them much, and instruct them a little : or we may go far in advance of them, and act on the principle of the