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namely, what are the true and only grounds upon which intelligent beings may reasonably hope to obtain God's favour ? And, what are the true and only grounds upon which vicious men, when brought to a sense of their guilt, may reafonably hope to obtain the divine mercy ? None surely. And, as these are points that are controverted, at least amongst Christians, which-fhews the diversity of mens sentiments with regard to them : So I have; in the annexed papers, Dhewed that there are some plain, obvious, certain principles in nature or reason relating thereto, which every honest upright man may fafely and securely Atay his mind upon, amidst the confusion and perplexity in which ignorant and artful men have involved the subject. And this, I trust, will be both useful and acceptable to you, as it may help to alhj and guide your under

standings, standings, your affections and actions aright, and also give you quiet and peace of mind upon your

so doing. But then, by this I expect to alarm the passions, and stir up the resentment of two sorts of people against me, namely, the bigotted and the interested in religion. By the bigotted, I mean those who consider themselves in the polleffion of truth antecedent to their enquiries about it; and this leads them zealously to contend for the religious scheme they have imbibed, whether it be Judaism, Mahometanism, Christianity, Popery, Protestantism, or the like ; upon a presumption that they are defending truth, and opposing error thereby. By the interested in religion, I mean those who make the profeffion of religion chiefly subservient to their worldly interest; this being a sufficient ground to them to oppose every religious principle which stands in the way, or is any


way likely to thwart their present interest, and to support and maintain any religious scheme which tends to support and maintain them. From these quarters I expect to have it roundly asserted, that the following Enquiry is designed and calculated to promote and encourage Deifm, to the prejudice of Revealed Religion in general, and of Christianity in particular. If by Deism be meant the belief of a Deity, and the governing our minds and lives suitably to such a belief, (which is ftri&ly and properly Deism) then, I readily acknowledge that such a charge will be just, viz. that the following Enquiry is designed and calculated to promote and encourage Deism. But then, how this can be done in prejudice to Revealed Religion in general, and to Christianity in particular, I am at a loss to discover. Christianity is, (as it must needs be if it be of God) founded


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on the eternal reason and truth of things; and therefore, it is impossible that reasoning juftly from eternal truths, (which is the case of the following Enquiry) can be prejudicial to Christianity. And that Chriftianity is founded on the eternal reason and truth of things, I have already shewed to be the case, by shewing what is the True Gospel of Jesus Christ

, in a book lately published bearing that title; which book hath drawn forth many opposers, who have employed their abilities in perplexing and distressing a subject which either they do not, or will not, or cannot, understand. The true ground upon which intelligent beings may reasonably hope to obtain their Creator's favour, and upon which vicious beings may reasonably hope and expect to obtain the divine mercy, are as plain and obvious as any thing in nature or reason can be. But then, in the present case, men love, or at least



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