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is but a small part of those, ng less correčt Works, which he had prepard for the Press. The rest will speedily follow, if encourag’d
. by the success of this, which (from
( the Vsefulness of the subječt Matter, and your Favour towards it ) I have no room to doubt,
Gentlemen, tis on your Goodnefs that I must depend, for the furtherance of this Work, as also for your Pardon, and candid Ác ceptance of this Address, from him, who, with the highest Respeet and Veneration, subscribes him, felf,
Your very bumble Servant,
HÊ Reader is here ptesented withi some Remains of an Excellent and
Judicious Person, whose Name iš ĝenerally well known by those many Uses ful and Practical Discourses, which he printed in his Life cime"; and the good Acceptance which his former Writings have mec withi from Personis of all Ranks, will help to recommend the following Discourses, which the Reader may be assured are the Genuine Works of the saine Reverend Author, and such as were defign'd by him for publick View.
In these, as well as in his forññer Wii. tings, the Author has given us a Tast of his good Skill in making Things plain and easy; Perfpicuity, and good Senle, were the things he had chiefly in view in all his
Compositions, as best accommodate to his principal Aim of making them useful to the meanest Reader : And though sometimes he may seem to stoop too low in Condescention to their weaker Capacities ; yet, on that score, it is presum'd that his Dicourses may be as Instructive and Edifying, and do as much good, as those which do carry greater Beauty and Ornament in Composition and Stile, though nothing more of true Piety and Sense, along with them; and yet we may venture to say, that nothing is wanting to our Author in all the good Qualities of a Christian Writer, to recommend his works to the more Judicious and Impartial, and to render them very useful to the World. But that which doth so pe-, culiarly recommend them is, that admirable ftrein of Piety and Goodness, which run through the several parts of them. He plainly lets us fee not only his Skill and Judg. ment, but his thorough Feeling and Experience of those many excellent Truths which he has handled; so that we may truly say of him,, that he was bless’d with this pe... culiar Privilege, of letting his Reader into the Secrets of his heart, as well as into the strength of his Arguments. ::
He endeavours all along to set Religion in the clearest and best Light, and makes the most agreeable and rational Representa-, tions of it; frequently exposing those Do&rines which ascribe too much, or too little, to humane Reason, such as either render Religion very harsh, or less amiable, to Creatures endu'd with Reason, and FreeWill, or such as endeavour to suit and 24 dapt it to the corrupt Inclinations of Men. But above all things, the vindicating Religion in general, and opposing the Scepticism and Infidelity of the present Age, was that which he had more carefully in view, and which he hath done to very good purpose.
That Reproach and Contempt which is poured on Religion by the Deists, and ocher Sceptical Persons, gavc no small Disturbance to this good Man; therefore sec himself to oppose them with all his Might, and compos'd several excellent Treatises to that purpose. Besides his little Book, call'd the Gentile Sinner, wriç in his younger Years,
, and which hath been so well receiv'd in the World; he hath publish'd some other Books, to vindicate the great Truths of our Religion, and to expose the folly of Atheism : He publish'd one upon the latter Subject, demonstrating the same to the Capacity of the most Unlearned Reader, as it is truly ser forth in the Title Page of the same Book ; and in the Preface to it, he observes,
The P R E FAC É. That the abounding of all sorts of Wická si edness and Prophaness, and the great
Ins dulgence People give every where to them “ selves in all manner of Vice and Vanity; " their deriding of serious Piery, mocking
ar á conscientious Strictness, and Regularity of Life, and even glorying in their
own Sins, which they know to be against “ the plainest Laws of God, and threatned
by him with no less than Eternal Dam"nation feem'd to him a most evidenë
; Sign, that Men do not really believe that “there is a God, and therefore thought “ Discourses against Atheism very needful : “ And till Men were thoroughly convinc'd " that there is a God over them, though
possibly by force they may be kept from doing some sorts of Evil, they can never be reform’d, oi perswaded to be good.
Discourses against Atheism have employed many learned Pens, and the Arguments produced against it, are usually fetch'd from the Fountains and Treasures of Philosophy, which are generally too abstruse and diffic cult for Men of ordinary Capacities to un. derstand : But because our Author obsery'd tliat sucli wicked Principles began to spread añong the ordinary sort of common People, and that many were infected and poison'd with them, he purposely composed his Treatise against Atheism for their Use, be