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When we confider the Temper of thofe Sceptical People, for whofe use the following Papers chiefly are intended, we are encouraged to hope that few of the Brethren will be inclined to take offence at any freedom I may have been obliged to use in cenfuring fome things, that feemed to be the greatest obftacles to this Progrefs of Religious Knowledge, as well as to hinder both our felves and others from perceiving it and its Effects. Nor will it, I truft; be requifite to make an Apology for the various Defects of this Performance, which are but too natural on so very extenfive a Subject, in fuch hands.

As it is, perhaps this may prove fufficient to give general hints in each part of the Scheme propofed, and thereby put fome others, who have more advantage for it, on confirming and completing what fhall upon due examination bear the teft. If the Foundation itself should appear to be faulty, too much already has been built upon it.

As for the two Difcourfes annexed; the former ought to be confidered as confifting only of a few loofe Traites, or general Reflections on a Subject which can never be too much attended to; and if it contain any valuable obfervations, either speculative, or practical, or of a mixed kind, however obvious thefe are to fome, 'tis hoped they will be no lefs acceptable for their general use: part of the latter pretends to nothing more, than a brief, imperfect intimation of the Scripture Doctrine on a point

not

not yet fufficiently understood; and which, from the reception that and fome other Points feem lately to have met with, it may be perhaps a part of Chriftian Prudence not to deliver more explicitly, till Men appear more willing to fubmit their vain Philofophy to the Authority of God's Word, and are difpofed to examine things with greater attention and impartiality. And indeed, as honeft Bishop Taylor fays, I have been fo push'd at by herds and flocks " of People that follow any body that whistles to

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them, or drives them to pasture, that I am grown

afraid of any Truth that seems chargeable with Singularity.

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34.

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The Note in 61

76

219

263

refers to

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179

273

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197 n. a.

82 n. e.

333,334

290

I.

Want of Univerfality

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Natural and Revealed Religion,

No just Objection against either.

Are not my Ways equal? Ezek. 18. 29. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles alfo. Rom. 3.29. For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by Nature the things contained in the Law; thefe, baving not the Law, are a Law unto themselves. Rom. 2. 14.

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