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fury of which you have borne, and which you have, in fome measure, broken, and rendered lefs hazardous to those who come after you. My time of withdrawing from this bufy fcene is not yet come; but while I feel myfelf animated with your love of truth, I fhall enjoy an enviable compofure even in the midft of the tempeft; and I fhall endeavour to relieve the feverity of these more serious purfuits, with thofe of philofophy, as you have done with those of claffical literature.
Whatever you may think of fome parts of my reasoning in the principal work, now prefented to you, I am confident you will approve of the main object of it, and especially the Sequel. You have long been an affertor of the proper unitarian doctrine, and cannot be displeased with my en
deavouring to trace to their fource in heathen antiquity, thofe capital corruptions of christianity—the Athanafian and Arian opinions.
The proper unity of God, the maker and governor of the world, and the proper humanity of Chrift, you juftly confider as respectively effential to natural and revealed religion; and confequently entertain a reasonable fufpicion and dread of any opinions that infringe upon them; and the more venerable those opinions have become on account of their antiquity, or the numbers, or worldly power, by which they are supported, fo much the more do they excite your indignation and zeal.
I rejoice with you, on account of fuch a prevalence of free inquiry, and good fenfe in matters of religion, in the present age, as cannot fail, in the
end, to overturn the antichriftian fyftems that have been permitted by divine providence to prevail so long in the christian world, and confequently (though probably in a remote period) the antichriftian tyrannies that have fupported them.
with the greatest esteem,
Calne, July, 1777.
your affectionate friend,
and christian brother
T may appear fomething extraordinary, but it is strictly true, that but a very few years ago, I was fo far from having any thoughts of writing on the subject of this publication, that I had not even adopted the opinion contended for in it. Like the generality of chriftians in the prefent age, I had always taken it for granted, that man had a foul diftinct from his body, though with many modern divines, I fuppofed it to be incapable of exerting any of its faculties, independently upon the body; and I believed this foul to be a fubftance fo intirely distinct from matter, as to have no property in common. with it. Of this several traces may be found in my Inftitutes of Natural and Revealed Religi on, and probably in fome of my other writings.
Not but that I very well remember that many doubts occurred to me on the subject of the intimate union of two fubftances fo intirely