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no such doctrine was contained in the New Testament. But had those ex* cellent persons done nothing more by their discovery, than abolished an innocent fuperftition, or changed fome directions in the ceremonial of public worship, they had merited little of that veneration, with which the gratitude of protestant churches remembers their services. What they did for mankind was this: they exonerated Christianity of a weight which funk it. If indolence or timidity had checked these exertions, or suppressed the fruit and publication of these enquiries, is it too much to affirm, that infidelity would at this day have been univerfal ? I do not mean, my Lord, by the


mention of this example, to insinuate; that any popular opinion which your Lordship may have encountered, ought to be compared with transubftantiation, or that the assurance with which we reject that extravagant absurdity is attainable in the controverfies in which your Lordship has been engaged: but I mean, by calling to mind those great reformers of the public faith, to observe, or rather to express my own persuasion, that to restore the purity, is most effectually to promote the progress of Christianity; and that the same virtuous motive which hath fanctified their labours, suggested yours. At a time. when some men appear not to perceive any good, and others to suspect


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an evil tendency, in that spirit of ex-
amination and research which is gone
forth in Christian countries, this tes-
timony is become due not only to the
probity of your Lordship's views, but
to the general cause of intellectual
and religious liberty.

That your Lordship’s life may be
prolonged in health and honour, that
it may continue to afford an instruc-
tive proof how serene and easy old
age can be made by the memory of
important and well-intended labours,
by the possession of public and de-
served esteem, by the presence of
many grateful relatives; above all, by
the resources of religion, by an un-
shaken confidence in the designs of

“ faithful Creator,” and a fettled



trust in the truth and in the promises of Christianity, is the fervent prayer of, my Lord,

Your Lordship's dutiful,

Most obliged,
And most devoted servant,


Carlisle, Feb. 10, 1785.

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N the treatises that I have met with upon

the subject of morals, I appear to myself to have remarked the following imperfections-either that the principle was erroneous, or that it was indistinctly explained, or that the rules deduced from it were not sufficiently adapted to real life and to actual situations. The writings of Grotius, and the larger work of Puffendorff, are of too forenfic a cast, too much mixed up with civil law and with the jurisprudence of Germany, to answer precisely the design of a system of ethics--the direction of private consciences

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