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SOON after I had published this volume, I received an anonymous Letter, addressed to me at Thurcaston, of which the following is an exact copy.
LETTER TO DR. HURD.
Sir, Some months ago it was reported, that Dr. Hurd was preparing to expound the Apocalypsis, and once more to prove the Pope to be Antichrist. The public were amazed. By the gay and by the husy world, the very attempt was treated as an object of ridicule. Polite scholars lamented, that you should be pre
vailed on to give up your more solid and liberal studies, for such obscure and unprofitable researches. Your own brethren of the church hinted, that it would be far more prudent to observe a respectful silence with regard to those awful and invidious mysteries. A more than common share of merit was requisite to surmount such adverse prejudices. Your Sermons, Sir, have been perused with pleasure by many, who had the strongest dislike to the name and subject. Every one has admired the vastness of the plan, the harmony of the proportions, and the elegance of the ornaments; and if any have remarked a weakness in the foundations, it has been imputed to the nature of the ground; and the taste of the Patron has been arraigned rather than the skill of the Architect.
Since you have undertaken the care and defence of this extensive province, I may be allowed, less as an opponent than as a disciple, to propose to you a few difficulties; about which I have sought more conviction than I have hitherto obtained. From the general cast of your writings, I flatter myself that I am speaking to a candid critic, and to a philosophical divine; whose first passion is the love of truth. On this pleasing supposition, let me