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memoir relating to the life and writings of Mr. Locke. A letter she received from me put her upon this work. I told her, I was A piece once more reading over, with all my atten-called'. A

. JP . r \ r memolr re"

tion, that book of extensive and universal use, iating t0 the essay concerning human understanding, w^'f^of but must confess to her, that what the great Mr-Locke: author fays of innate ideas, abstract ideas, aM«. Ben-y solid thinking existent, and power, did not fa-lowtisfy me. There must be some innate ideas, I fayed; and how can matter think! The word free-will Mr. Locke represents as a nonsensical term, and endeavours to prove the will of man not free, even while he is defending the liberty of the agent. Then, as * • to abstract ideas, is it not an odd description he gives us ?" Ideas of mixed modes, wherein any inconsistent ideas are put together, cannot so much as exist in the mind: and yet the general idea of a triangle is an idea, wherein some parts of several different and inconsistent ideas are put together. It is neither oblique nor rectangular, neither equilateral, equicrural, nor scalenum j but all, and none of these at once; and, in effect, something imperfect that cannot exist." What can we make of this? Does not the truth seem clouded with words and distinctions, that are often false? Your opinion on these subjects will oblige me very greatly 5 that if error be not propagated under the sanction of

a great name, I may ask the philosopher pardon.

In answer to this Letter, Mrs. Benlow told me she would fend me the memoir aforementioned, and imagined it would answer all my objections. It did so effectually. It is a series of remarks upon every thing this great man writ j and, in respect of the essay, contains an examination of every obstacle supposed to be in that work. She reviews every thing objected to by Dr. Butler, late bishop of Durham (a), in his dissertation at the end


(a) Dr. Butler died in 52. He succeeded Dr. Chandler, who died in 50. Chandler the author of the defence of Christianity against the great Mr. Collins's Grounds, and a vindication of his desence, in two volumes more in 8vo, in answer to Mr. Collins's scheme. The bishop's first volume, called the Desence, is weak: but the vindication is a fine performance. He is a conqueror to be sure. Read these volumes, and Mr. Collins's Grounds and Scheme, at the fame time, and you will be nobly entertained with the most useful and valuable learning. Take them together article by article, and see how each particular is considered by these two great men. As to Dr. Butler's analogy, it is in the main an admirable thing. Some fancys there are in it, which I shall have occasion to shew you, before my Letter is at an end. And what he fays against Mr. Locke is nothing but Words.

N. B. What Mr. Mason fays of Dr. Lardner, at the end of bishop Chandler's 3d volume, in relation to Maerobius's account of the slaughter of the children in Bethlehem, is mere stuff. Dr. Lardner in his 3d edition of the Credibility of Gospel History, has illustrated

what of his analogy; by Dr. Isaac Watts, in his philosophical essays (a); by 'Jeremy Collier in


what he fayed of Macrobius in his first edition. See Credibility, vol. 2. p. 762. Macrobius lived towards the end of the 4th Century. He was Chambellan to Theodostus, and a man of erudition. His Saturnalia is a useful, agreeable medly, in which he has collected many things of the ancients: but his Latin is execrable: that of the age he lived in. He was a Pagan: and his mentioning the slaughter of the infants, is thought to be a confirmation of St. Matthew's account. But the dispute is, whether he transcribed the jest of Augustus, and the occasion of it, from some old author j or, the jejl only, and collected the occasion from the common discourse of the christians of his time. The jest or saying os Augustus was, It is better to be Herod's hog than his son. And most certainly, Augustus might have fayed this, without any regard to the slaughter of the infants, as Herod had put three of his sons to death at mens estate; to wit, Alexander and Aristobulus; and Antipater, who, by false informations, occasioned their Death. (Alexander and Aristobulus were sons of the excellent Mariamne, who was of the Asmonean family, and grand-daughter of Hircan the pontiff". This amiable queen that tyrant did likewise put to death, before Christ, 29 years.) But then, Macrobius's mentioning the fact, shews that this cruel aflion of Herod was not contested in the latter end of the fourth century. It was then known to be a truth.

{a) This is Watts the dissenting minister, whom I mentioned before. This great man dyed November 25, I74.8. in the 75th year of his age. The philosophical essays, above mentioned, are the weakest things he writ. What he fays of Space not being a thing really existing ad extra, is very weak; as despicable as any thing in the author of the notes, on the fame side of the question, that is, against the necessary existence of space in

F 4 infinitum-y his fine recommendatory preface to a book


infinitum; I mean by the Author of the notes, archdeacon Law's notes on bishop King's essay on the origin of evil *: to which I add what the archdeacon produces from his eminent writer, as he calls Dr. Water land. And as to Dr. Watts's objections against Mr. Lcckct there is neither reason nor reflection in them.

N. B. Mr. yenning: preached Dr. Watts's funeral Sermon, on these words, — By it, he being dead yet fpeaketh, Heb. xi. 4. and I recomend this sermon to. you, because you will find in it a fine explication of the sacrifice of Cain and Abel: the best I have seen. There is at the end of this sermon a funeral oration spoken over the grave of the doctor by Samuel Chandler. It is a beautiful little thing. This Samuel Chandler is the gentleman, who translated into English, for the service of Christ's church, Limborch's hi/lory of the inouijition;


* The piece on which Mr. Law writ his notes, came out first in Dublin, in 1702, 8vo, and is called, Dt origine mali. Bayle and Leibnitz writ against it, and Mr. Edmund Law has not been able to defend it. Besides this piece, Dr. King writ many books: but none of any great value, excepting his State of the protcjlants of Ireland under fames II.—and, Three answers to Peter Manby, dean of Derry, who turned papist.—Old King died in Dublin May 8, 1729. aged 79 years and 7 days. He was a very good man in the main; but a severe enemy to the dissenters. He and Narcissus Marjh, primate of Ireland (who dyed in 1714) not only gave all the encouragement they could to the prosecution of that illustrious sufferer, Mr. Thomas Emfyn (who dyed July 30, 1741.) i but at his tryal, fat on the bench by lord chief justice Pine, and like true fiery fccleftajlicks, would not suffer the rules of natural jiistjce to be observed,

and writ that glorious introduction concerning the rife and ■progress of persecution ; which is prefixed to the history. This introduction, Jewks, you cannot read over too often. It is the finest thing on the subject that ever was written. It is of such vast service to the religion of the Son of God, that it must for ever merit the most grateful acknowledgements from all true christians; tho' it drew down upon him the wrath and indignation of some right orthodox doctors. See Berriman's review of Chandler's introduction—his remarks, and defence of his remarks, on the introduction:—and Chandler's three letters j one to bishop Gibson in answer to the review; and the other two to Dr. Berriman, in reply to his remarks, and defence. They were printed in the year 1733. This controversy will afford you a fine entertainment, and let you see what a poor thing an orthodoxy is in the hand of an able defender of truth.

This introduction by Mr. Chandler, is a very different thing from a piece on the fame subject that appeared in the year 1747, and is called, A succint history of ancient and modern persecutions, by Daniel Lombard. D. D. an octavo. D. D. is orthodox up to the chin of him, and in succint history, does his best to serve the truly orthodox and catholic church, as the reverend Mr. Smithy aforementioned, calls the church of England. D. D. attempts to shew the unreasonableness of dissenters separating from his church; but cannot shew it: and he strains every nerve to prove, that the Arians were butchering heretics; but has not been able to prove it. The truth is the very reverse of what D. D. took upon him to maintain. The orthodox catholics, under Gratian and Theodostus, A. D. 380, were the butchers, who massacred the eastern christians, called in contempt Brians by the western tritheisis; as their fuccesjors, the modern papists, in contempt, now call all the protestants Calvinifls. And all the persecution the westerns suffered from the easterns was that, Constantius, under pain of banishment, restrained his western subjects from un(hristianing his eastern^ after their signing the famous


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