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EVIDENCES, DOCTRINES, AND DUTIES,
ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND.
* Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
“ Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.—For we have not followed cunningly devised fables.”
“ Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh from the Father of Lights."
“ These things write we anto you, that your joy may be full."
The history of the work now presented to the public may be given in very few words. It originated in a series of conversations which I had about five years ago with a friend much younger than myself, who had a considerable acquaintance with almost all except religious subjects. He expressed much surprise that a person of my habits and pursuits in other respects should adopt the religious notions I had long entertained, or indeed be solicitous about any religious opinions whatever; and I endeavoured to assign the reasons which led me to embrace them, and to consider such topics as of the first import
After a short time we were so far separated as to have much fewer opportunities of personal intercourse: and I in consequence became induced to carry on the momentous inquiry we had previously commenced, by letter. Pursuant to this intention, all the letters in the first volume 1 were actually written: they were read in manuscript by my friend ; and, as I have reason to believe, were not unproductive of benefit. Having proceeded thus far, a growing particularity of inquiry was produced
1 This work was originally published in two volumes, the first volume closing with the 11th letter.