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ing the faid Perfon's Opinion, which, tho' incredible to relate, did always, to a Tittle, correspond with his own.
But the Author, not content with the fingle Approbation of one, in fome Meafure depending on him, tho' of unquef tionable Sincerity, did put the faid Essay into the Hands of three Clergymen of the Church, as by Law established, then in near Neighbourhood, and still in near Intimacy with him, with an earnest Requeft, that their Friendship for the Author might no Way influence or byafs their Judgment; but that, rather, they would fignify their Friendship, by the Rigour and Severity of their Examina tion, and by their Caftigation of every Paffage that fhould feem in the least inconfiftent with the plaineft Reafson, and most exact primitive Faith. They con curred as one Man, to approve the Trea tife in general, and expreffed fuch Encomiums of the Clearness of the Argue ment, Beauty of the Imagination, Cor rectnefs of Style, and, above all, the na tural Turn given by the Author (though entirely new) to the Text of the Originals, and
and the Translations of them, he thought it neceffary to amend, in order to lead the Reader into a more clear and full Conception of his Meaning, than, it seemed to appear to him, could be obtained without fuch Turn and Emendations thereunto given. It would not become the Author to repeat their Approbation in their own Terms, which were fo friendly, as well as judicious, that he had no Room to fufpect that the few Emendations, they recommended to be made, could proceed from any Envy to him; but rather to be a fought - for Opportunity of fhewing their Friendship, by fome Caftigation or other, as was previously and ftrongly requefted of them. Upon this Confidetion, the Author let the Paffages ftand as they were, and has the Happiness to know, that thofe very Paffages are now more approved by thofe Gentlemen, than any other in the Book,
It was from thefe Encouragements, and the tacit Approbation of Persons of great Name in London, and who enjoyed the Friendship of Doctor Clark, to whom he fubmitted the Book for their Perufal, before
before he caused it to be printed, in the third Edition, (the first at his own Coft, and the third for Sale, the fecond being done without his Knowledge,) he thought he did what it was his Duty to do, in Discharge of his own Confcience, and not to conceal from the learned World a Scheme, he humbly conceived, might not be altogether without Use in the State, as well as in the Church, as by Law eftablished.
Although the Author did not expect or defire any one to ftand up for his Defence, or give him the least Affistance in Writing, yet he must confefs his. Aftonishment on two Accounts: First, that none of the Moft Rev. or Right Rev. Prtes, in Conjunction with the upper Part of the Laity, had done any Thing this laft Winter, toward recommending his Scheme to the Powers that be; and particularly, that one great Perfon let flip an Opportunity fo favourable to the Defign, and made no Use of his Interest with a Vy fo willing to hear Reason, and from his native Goodness. fo ready to promote any good Work; to chalk
chalk out, and have put in fome Forwardnefs, the Reformation recommended, and fo much defired (as appears by the quick Sale of the Eay) by all Degrees of Perfons in the Church and State of I-d, except a few very contemptible. Perfons, who are only blind Followers of blind Leaders, and make a greater Noife than they do, who can fee the true Interefts of our Hierarchy, as well as of the civil Community, and can also have an Eye to the private Interefts of Men, who are willing to be employed under the Government, as well as in the Church, without, at the fame Time, offering any Violation to their own Confcience; without which Provifion, the Author humbly conceives, no State whatsoever can flourish or profper.
A fecond Cause of the Author's great Aftonishment is, (and which he takes leave to exprefs in much harfher Terms than he has yet ufed) that none of the moft Rev. or Right Rev. Guardians of the Church, or that one of them, at leaft, already known to the World by his learned Labours, hath not been pleased, either to fignify his Approbatian of the
Work, or candidly to offer what he conceives may be reasonably objected thereunto. Are they indolent Lookers-on, when Doctrines are broached, fubverfive, as is pretended, of Christianity → Can they answer to the World or themfelves, how it is that they fee the Herd of the People misled, and will not vouch fafe to put them in the right Way? The People have been alarmed with the Cry of Apoftafy and Infidelity from every Quarter, from News-Papers, CoffeeHouses, and Vifitation-Charges; and yet among those who ought to be the first to take the Alarm altum filentium! The Author Hath, as he conceives, modeftly, but preffingly, invited Perfons, in high Station, whofe Sentiments may be worth confidering, and whofe Authority in the World may have a due Influence, impartially to weigh, and minutely confider, what he hath advanced, and then particularly to argue from Paragraph to Paragraph, to reafon candidly on each, to bring Authorities for his Opinions, or elfe fupport any new Opinion, by clear and demonftrable Arguments, as the Author