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many to be here recounted: But I shall mention some of the chief of them.
( 1.) Vicious Men are very unwilling to believe that Religion to be True, which is so dire&ly contrary to their whole course of Life, and to all their Inclinations and Desires, but they are very ready to catch at any Cavils and Pretences against it. The Lives of too many
Christians have brought a Scandal, though a very unjust one, upon the Religion which they profess: and Men who find themselves more enclined to do as they fee them do, than as they hear them acknowledge they ought to do, make no fufficient enquiry into the Principles of Religion.
(2.) Divers men have had a strange Ambition to say something new upon every Subjeđ they treat of; and in order to that, have set themselves, with all their skill and Power, to contradi& and overthrow what has been said by others, that they might make way
for their own Opinions ; or fo to refine
upon the Notions of others, that they that might appear New, and of their
own Invention : which has made
The Improvements which have been made in Philosophy, this last Age, afford a real and great advantage towards the Proof and Establilliment of Religion in Mens Minds ; and yet there are few things which have been more abused to the dishonour of it. For when men find it convenient to give some vent to the Philosophical Hu
mour, they bethink themselves of a fic Subjeđ for it to discharge it. self upon; and this must be something Great, and something that is very New and Surprising : and there is nothing which answers all these Qualities so well as a new Account of the Origin of the Universe, and then the History of the Creation in Genesis, as well as the World it felf, must undergo all the Alterations which they are pleased to impose upon it, that it may perfe&ly submit and comply with their New Hypothefis
. If this Fancy should hold, New Syftems of the World will be as common as new Romances : They must pardon me the Expression ; for Des Cartes himself, among his Friends, gave no better Name to his System ; which was the first ground and occasion to all the rest. And nothing is more eafie with a Philosophical Wit; than to build or destroy a World : but it is to be hoped, when they have wearied them
selves with New Contrivances, they
many Years, and every one should
be no Sun at all : Which, indeed, is no more than what the Scepticks have faid. And this Infidelity and Scepticisin concerning God, and his Providence, and Revelation, must end
a The Preface. in the Scepticism of our very Senses, if these Principles be pursued in their dired and unavoidable Consequences
. Others have been too bold with the Mysteries of Religion, and have pretended to explain them so far, as if they would endeavour to present us with a Religion without all Mystery, which at the same time has exposed Themselves to Reproach, and Religion to the Scorn of such as are glad to take all occasions to shew their Goodwill to it. The evident and declared Design of the Socinians, is, to retain no Mysteries, but by forced Interpretations of Scripture to expound chem all to their own, that is, to a new and åbfurd fence ; and it is but too plain, that there is a combined Design carried on between Them and the Deifts, who are contented to pass for Christians, stery: Anti-Trinitarian is a milder word than Anti-Christian; and Vnitarian is but a different Name for Deift.