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thy of your Patronage. Such as it is, I submit it to your Judgment, and that of the Public: And am, with great Regard,
R. Chubb, in his late posthumous
Works, has planned out a Scheme
to introduce Infidelity the more effectually, by attempting to discredit the Soundness and Reasonableness of the Christian Morals: which the thinking Part of the World have looked upon to be
to be very secure from Attempts of this Nature, when they considered, that they were better than those of any other Institution, and truly calculated for the Good of Mankind. Mr. Chubb was not insensible of the Influence, which this Argument would always have with the most confiderate Men in Favour of Christianity. He plainly faw, that this alone, unless it could be removed, would more than counterbalance all the Difficulties he could raise in Speculation. Metaphysical Subtleties and laboured Objections are not a Match against Arguments supposed to be grounded on Fact and Experience. Therefore he used all his
Efforts to disprove the Notion, that the Christian Morals deserved to be so much efteemed, and to be preferred above others. This was a Taik he was obliged to undertake. The Cause of infidelity called upon him to do it. And it must be allow ed, that the Method he proposed was well devised, and artful enough. But how he fucceeded, I hope, the following Pages will sufficiently shew: His Aim was, to reprefent the Christian Morals either as contain. ing no more than
other System did; or else as consisting in certain Peculiarities, which were utterly false, irrational, or abfurd.
This was an home Charge: And I have waited to fee, whether it would call forth thę Zeal of some abler Person to take the Cause in hand, and to rescue the Oracles of God from Mr. Chubb’s gross Misreprefentations of them.
a One at Length appeared, whose Success against Mr. Chubb in his Life-time, gave me the greater Hopes, that his engaging to answer the
? Mr. Caleb Fleming, a Diffenting Minister, I suppose.
posthumous Works of his Adversary, would have superseded any Attempt of mine. But whether it was, that he designedly checked the Vigour of his Mind against an Antagonist, who now could reply no more;
or whether some of these Subjects were such, as he had not given so particular an Attention to (for no Man is Mafter of all Subjects alike) Whatever was the Cause, yet fo, I think, it was, that his Reply to these posthumous Works, did not carry with it that Author's usual Strength and Clearness.
I have therefore put together the hints I had minuted, and the Observations I first made on the Occasion; and now submit them to the Judgment of the Publick. One thing I must advertise my Reader of, that tho’ I do not pretend to answer Two whole Volumes in Octavo; yet I conceive, I have selected the very Flower and Strength of Mr. Chubb's Objections to combat with, in the following Dissertations. And if I have confuted them to the Reader's Satisfaction; he may conclude, that all the rest are no ways conßderable, but for their Numbers. Not to mention, that the far major Part of these