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HE Character of Mr. Addi
fon and his Writings, for JuftN ness of thought, Strength
of reasoning, and Purity of
style, is too well eftablish'd to need a Recommendation; but cheir greatest Ornament, and that which gives a Lustre to all the reft, is his appearing, throughout, a zealous Advocate for Virtue and Religion against Profaneness and Infidelity. And because his excellent Discourses upon those Subjects lie dispersed among his other Writings, and are by that means not fo generally known and read as they deserve, it was judg’d to be no unseasonable Service to Religion at this
time, to move the Bookseller to publish them together in a distinct Volume; in hopes, that the Politeness and Beauty peculiar to Mr. Addifon's Writings would make their way to persons of a superior Character and a more liberal Education; and, that as they come from the hands of a Layman, they may be the more readily receiv'd and consider'd by young Gentlemen, as a proper Manual of Religion.
Our modern Scepticks and Infidels are great Pretenders to Reason and Philosophy, and are willing to have it thought that none who are really polless'd of those Talents, can easily affent to the Truth of Christianity. But it falls out very unfortunately for them and their Cause, that those persons within our own memory, who are confess’d to have been the most perfect Reafaners and Philosophers of their time, are also known to have been firm Believers, and they, Laymen; I mean Mr. BOYLE, Mr. Lock, Sir ISAAC
NEWTON, NEWTON, and Mr. ADDIS ON: who, modestly fpeaking, were as good Thinkers and Reasoners, as the best among the Scepticks and Infidels at this day. Some of them might have their particular Opinions about this or that point in Chritianity, which will be the case as long as men are men; but the thing here insisted on, is, That they were accurate Reasoners, and at the same time firm Believers. ..
- Mr. Boyle, the most exact Searcher into the Works of Nature that any Age has known, and who saw Atheism and Infidelity beginning to shew thein
felves in the loose and voluptuous - reign of King Charles the Second, pursu'd his Philosophical Enquiries with Religious Views, to establish the minds of men in a firm belief and chorw sense of the infinite Power and Wife dom of the great Creator. · This account we have from
Dr. Buriet. one who was incimacely acquainted with him, and preach'd his fu
A 3 neral
Life, neral Sermon: 'It appear'd to p. 22. those who convers'd with him • in his Enquiries into Nature, that * his main design in that (on which
as he had his own eye most con
Itantly, so he took care to put ochers * often in mind of it) was to raise in
himself and others, vafter thoughts • of the Greatnefs and Glory, and of • the Wisdom and Goodness of God.
This was so deep in his thoughts, " that he concludes the Article of his • Will, which relates to that Illustri"ous Body, the Royal Society, in • these Words: wishing them a happy
fuccess in their laudable Attempts, to
discover the true nature of the Works • of God; and praying, that tbey and
all other Searchers into Physical " Truths, may cordially refer their At
tainments to the Glory of the great • Author of Nature, and to the Com• fort of Mankind. The same person allo speaks thus of him, 'He had " the profoundest Veneration for the great God of Heaven and Earth,
that they are
& that ever I observ'd in any perfon. & The very name of GOD was never
r mention'd by him without a Pause .(and a vifible Stop in his Difcourse.
And, of the frictness and exemplarinefs of the whole course of his life, he says, ' I might here Bbid. ( challenge the whole Tribe p. 9. ¢ of Libertines, to come and view & the Ufefulness, as well as the Excel olence of the Christian Religion, in a
Life that was entirely dedicated to it.
Against the Atheists, he wrote his Free Enquiry into the receiv'd Notion of Nature (to confute the pernicious Principle of afcribing Effects to Na. ture, which are only produced by the infinite Power and Wisdom of God ;) and also his Essay about final Causes of things Natural, to shew that all things in nature were made and contriv'd with great order, and every thing for its proper End and Use, by an all-wise Creator.
Against the Deifts, he wrote a Treatise of Things above Reason; in which