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Series of Letters to a Friend.
But then grew Reason dark, that she no more
Could the fair forms of Good and Truth discern ;
SIR J. DAVIS.
PUBLISHED BY JOHN WILSON AND DANIEL HITT
J.C. TOTTEN, PRINT.
THE Author of this Confession is a man of a very prominent character. Having attained considerable celebrity, as well by his strange rise from one of the lowest stations in
life, to the possession of probably the greatest i book-store in the known world ; as by the ma
ny editions of his life, written principally to 1 throw a general obloquy on Christianity, and
to shew his particular aversion from the Meth'odists.
He followed the occupation of a shoemaker, according to his confession; and by hearing the · Methodist preachers, was convinced of his sin
fulness, and made a good progress in experimental and practical piety. In consequence of his sobriety and diligence, accompanied with the generous assistance of his Methodist brethren, it appears he emerged from his debased situation, and by a swift gradation, rose to opulence. He now fell from his steadfastness in religion, and became, by degrees, an open deist and a vehement opposer of his former associates and patrons. How he was again gracious. ly visited and reclaimed, these letters will shew; however, we cannot forbear remarking the providence that should make Mr. Wesley, when dead, the instrument of his re-conversion. He
has now resigned his business, and lives in ele. gant and useful retirement, enjoying once more the privileges of that church from which he fell, and has lately (in 1804) published the letters from which these are taken, desirous thereby to efface the effects of his former erroneous pub. lications.' It has, for the same purpose, been thought expedient to re-publish them here in the present form, altering nothing in what is retained, but omitting what was deemed not clasely connected with the subject, and chiefly his large quotations from the poets. The Lord himself give it his blessing, and to him be all the glory.
SEVERAL of my friends have thought that, If the following letters were made public, they might prove useful as a warning to others not to fall into those errors which had nearly proved fatal to me; and also, as an alarm to some of those who are already fallen into that dreadful state of infidelity; from which, by the great mercy of God, I am happily escaped.
They were also of opinion, that as I had publicly ridiculed a very large and respectable body of Christians, and thus, in fact, made a THRUST at the very VITALS of Christianity itself, by this means giving occasion to speculative infidels and practical unbelievers to triumph and blaspheme; that, therefore, my recantation ought to be made as public as possible, and that by so doing, I should give great pleasure to many real Christians, who, with the angels in heaven, will rejoice over a repenting sinner.
To the preceding reasons, the Author is obliged to add, that without publishing some thing of the kind, he thinks he should not have performed his duty to God or man, nor have had any just ground to expect pardon from either such is his sense and abhorrence of the pernicious and infidel tendency of those parts