"In the following pages the author has endeavored to meet, in a popular form, some of the prevailing moral fallacies of the times. It is admitted by every one who has observed the state of public opinion in relation to moral and religious questions, that no inconsiderable portion of the business men of our cities and villages-especially the young men-are influenced by opinions which are inconsistent both with sound reason and with revelation. This little volume is an endeavor to bring back some who have wandered, to a rational apprehension of religious doctrine and duty. It asks the forbearance of the dogmatic theologian. The effort of the author is to give the rationale of the Christian doctrines which he discusses. Those for whom these letters are mostly designed have chosen reason, rather than revelation, as arbiter in matters of faith. "We have, therefore, permitted reason to speak freely in behalf of revealed truth, and to speak sometimes in forms of language that we would not use with those who are believers in divine revelation. We have, in the discussion, waived all questions not involved in the main issues, and have granted to the opposers and accusers of the evangelical ministry all that a fair mind can ask; and as the skeptics of our day claim a philosophical basis for many of their opinions, we have endeavored to meet them on their own ground. One of the volumes of Rev. Theodore Parker (Discourses of Religion) was put in to our hands by a friend. We read it, and were surprised to find a book strong in phrase and assuming in rhetoric; but without congruity, and, as it seemed to us, out of harmony both with reason and revelation. With this view of the book, we commenced a series of letters to a friend, one of which was published in a religious journal. Other letters were written, but not published. In those letters we referred, in two or three instances, to portions of two volumes previously published, and to which our respondent had access. For the benefit of those who may possess these volumes, we have given references, or condensed the thought and put it into another form. These letters, with some additional matter and a few notes, are now submitted to the public. They are respectfully commended to the consideration of those who desire to act sincerely and intelligently in relation to the matters in question. "Prove all things: hold fast that which is good," is a Scripture precept. The matter of some of the letters has been prepared in haste. The discussion covers the living issues of our times between the friends and opponents of evangelical Christianity. The style is as popular as the character of the subjects would permit. If it shall answer the ends of a hand-book on the subject of heterodoxy in religion and reform, the author's aim will be accomplished"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).