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tainly known, that a great part of them were his own Compositions.
I mention not these great Names, nor the Testimonies they have given of their firm belief of the Truth of Christianity, as if the Evidences of our Religion were to be finally resolvd into human Authoricy, or try'd in any other way than by the known and establith'd Rules of right Reason; buc my design in mentioning them, is
1. To lhew the very great Assurance of thofe who would make the belief of Revelation inconsistent with the due use of our Reason; when they have known so many eminent instances in our own time, of the greatest Masters of Reafon not only believing Revelation, but zealously concerned to estao blish and propagate the belief of it.
2. The Remembrance of this will alto be a means, on one hand, to hinder well-meaning people from being mis led by the vain Boasts of our modern Pretenders to Reafon; and, on the
other hand, to check the Inclination of the wicked and vicious to be mifled; when both of them have before their eyes such fresh and eminent Instances of sound Reasoning and a firm Faith join'd together in one and the same mind.
3. Further, as these were persons generally esteem'd for Virtue and Goodness, and, notwithstanding their high Atrainments, remarkable for their Modesty and Humility; their Examples Thew us, that a strong and clear Reason naturally leads to the belief of Revelation, when it is not under the Influences of Vice, or Pride.
4. And, finally, as they are all Laymen, there is no room for the Enemies of Reveald Religion to alledge, that they were prejudiced by Interest, or fecular Considerations of any kind. A suggestion, that has really no weight, when urg'd against the writings of the Clergy in defence of Revelation, fince they do not defire to be trusted upon their own Authority, but upon the
Reasons they offer; and Lawyers and Physicians are not less trusted, because they live by their Professions ; but it is a suggestion that easily takes hold of weak minds, and especially such as catch at objections, and are willing to be caught by them. And, considering the Diligence of the Adversary in making Proselytes and drawing Men from the Faith of Christ ; equal diligence is requir’d of those who are to maintain that Faith, not only to leave men no real ground, but even no colour or pretence, for their Infidelity.
The following Discourses, except that concerning the Evidences of the Christian Religion, were all published in separate Papers fome years ago, and afterwards collected into Volumes, with marks of distinction at the end of many of them, to point out the Writers. Mr. Addison's are there distinguish'd by some one of the Letters of the word CLIO; and the same marks of distinction are here continued; as are also
the rest, where any Letter was found at the end of the Discourse.
In those Volumes, they stand according to the order of time in which they were at first separately publish'd, without any Connexion as to the matters contain'd in them; but here, the several Discourses on the fame Subject, which lie dispers’d in those Papers, are reduced to their proper Heads, and put into one view, that the whole may be more regularly read, and each head may leave a more lasting Impression upon the mind of the Reader.
Š E C T. II.
B 2. SECT.