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REV. HENRY SCOUGAL, A. M.
PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN.
AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY,
REV. RICHARD WATSON,
W. F. WAKEMAN, AND WM. CURRY, JUN: & co, DUBLIN;
SIMPKIN & MARSHALL ; BALDWIN & CRADOCK;
AND AURST, CHANCE, & co. LONDON.
The ground and reason of Religion is, the insufficiency of man; search as we may, we shall find no principle so deeply laid in truth, so comprehensive and important in its bearings. We cannot sustain our natural life any more than we could give it; we cannot, beyond a certain and very limited degree, control the innumerable circumstances which surround us, and affect us for good and for evil; we find nothing on earth which satisfies our desires; a sense of guilt presses our conscience with a load which it cannot throw off; and we shall soon enter a new and unknown state of being, over the condition of which we have no control. What greater proofs can we have of our own nothingness?
Wherever any form of religion has existed, this principle has been at least tacitly acknowledged by men of all ages and of all countries. The office of all religious rites has been, to connect man in friendly relations with powers superior to himself; to avert their wrath, or to secure their favourable interposition. In the ruder rites of barbarians, in the splendid ceremonial of civilized nations, the reason and the end are