This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

snowball, painted to look like fruit, would stay the hunger of the stomach.' And all these friends of theological science are, like the friends of physical science, though from another cause, severe upon letters. Attempts made at a literary treatment of religious history and ideas they call 'a subverting of the faith once delivered to the saints.' Those who make them they speak of as 'those who have made shipwreck of the faith;' and when they talk of 'the poison openly disseminated by infidels,' and describe the 'progress of infidelity,' which more and more, according to their account, 'denies God, rejects Christ, and lets loose every human passion,' though they have the audaciousness of physical science most in their eye, yet they have a direct aim, too, at the looseness and dangerous temerity of letters.

Keeping in remembrance what Scripture says about the young man who had great possessions, to be able to work a change of mind in our aristocratic class we never have pretended, we never shall pretend. But to the friends of physical science and to the friends of dogma we do feel emboldened, after giving our best consideration to the matter, to say a few words on behalf of letters, and in deprecation of the slight which, on different grounds, they both put upon them. But particularly in reply to the friends of dogma do we wish to insist on the case for letters, because of the great issues which seem to us to be here involved. Therefore of the relation of letters to religion we are going now to speak; of their effect upon dogma, and of the consequences of this to religion. And so the subject of the present volume will be literature and dogma.


It is clear that dogmatists love religion; for else why do they occupy themselves with it so much, and make it,