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Some of the PRINCIPAL REASONS contained in
Dr. Benson's Answer to Christianity not founded
By a MORAL PHILOSOPHER. ·
For Modes of Faith let graceless Zealots fight,
DE I S M
In a LETTER to a FRIEND.
of Pleasure that I formerly used to
converse with you, on philosophical P and theological Subjects. Your
good Sense, good Nature, and Candour ; your extensive Erudition, and m extensive Charity, render you a most agreeable and instructive Companion. But this is a Blefsing I have a long time been deprived of, by my Removal to a Place, at too great à Dif- . tance from you. However, I think, this Miffortune may in some measure be compensated, by your favouring me with your Thoughts, in a
friendly Epistle, on the two forementioned Subjects, which may be comprized in one, viz. Moral Philosophy. You see, Sir, how desirous I am to propagate that Incimacy fo long since contracted, by thus introducing it, in this public Way; nor can you but remember, that you were wont to conclude our amicable Debates with the following, or like, Sentence : “ Well, I have Charity for the “ Sincere, and Well-meaning, of all the various " Denominations of fallible Men, and for you in o particular; but don't take it amiss if I freely tell
you, I think you are an honest Infidel." Now, tho’l profess I never took it ill at your Hands, yet, I assure you, it gave me Concern, to find myself thus ftigmatized; and at the same time, in Conscience, obliged to differ from my most valuable Friends; and particularly from yourself, of whose Parts and Integrity, I had Reason to have the highest Esteem. However, it was attended with one happy Consequence, viz. It put me on, a serious Re-examination of the Motives to my entertaining those exploded Sentiments, and the Justness of those Reasonings upon which they were grounded. Much about the time I was deprived of your Conversation, I was in the midst of those ny Researches, and, not having you any longer to have recourse to, I applied myself, in the most impartial and unprejudiced Manner, to the reading fuch Christian Writers as had obtained the greatest Reputation, both for sound Judgment and nervous Reasoning. But, after ail, not having found
whereon to rest the Sole of my Foot, as a confiftent Christian, and an honest Man, in the fame Person, I could think of no better Expedient, than to return to you, for a Solution of those weighty Objections, which appear insolvable to me.
Before I proceed to answer the repeated Calls and Invitations of such of your Christian Brethren, as have most Reason to be confident of the Goodness of their Cause, by freely producing to public Consideration those strong Objections, as they (by way of Contempt) are pleased to call them; I beg leave to lay before you my Complaint against some of them, for very injurious Treatment of their Adversaries; of whom I may say, and, surely, with your Approbation, they are too positive and angry to do Service to any Cause ; even that of the Heathens they affect so much to despise. That there is such a thing as true Religion, how differently foever Men may think concerning it, I no more doubt of, than I do of my own Existence; but the Gentlemen I refer to are very positive it consists, fome, in one Set of Opinions; and some, in another; and all are unanimous, (which very rarely happens where Unanimity is requisite) in supposing that Integrity of Heart, and Regularity of Life, in those who dissent from them, will leave them still short of a well-grounded Hope of Salvation, while they continue to question, whether certain speculative Truchs,' and uninveitigable