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both by Discourses and Writings, declare openly his religious Sentiments, which as an honest Man he could not conceal. And he most fubmissively address’d (m) himself, in particular, to both the Archbishops, and to several of the Bishops, and other learned Divines, and to the Convocation, and to both the Universities, offering to lay before them Papers for their Examination, which have been since publish'd; wherein he pretended to discover the true, old, original Christianity, from which all Christians had for many Ages before the Reformation departed, when, according to him, a Part only of Christianity was revived. But this free, open, christian Proceeding, had no other publick Effect, than to draw upon him, an arbitrary and illegal Expulsion (n) from the University of Cambridge and from his Mathematick-Professor-ship there, by the Heads of Houses, and That without conferring with him in Relation to his Notions, they urging, that it was (0) not usual to argue with Hereticks; an Address of the Convocation to the Queen against him, wherein they desired to be put into a Method how to punish him ; a Representation of him, by the said Convocation to the Queen and the Nation, as a Person carrying on the Cause of Irreligion; the Convocations secret Censure (p) of divers of
(m) See his Historical Preface.
his Positions, which Cenfure has since stole out into Print; and their open Refusal (9) to ex, amine his Papers and to hear him in his own Defence, though he demanded it of them, as a Matter of Right, and lastly, a Profecution commenced against him by Dr. PELLING, which upon the Death of her late Majesty dropd'.
He lives for the most part in London, the Place of the greatest Resort of Men of Understanding, Birth, Fortune, and Learning in the Universe. There he visits persons of both Sexes, and of the highest Rank, who are delighted with his Plainness, Integrity, Sense, and Learning; and to whom he discourses with the greatest Freedom about many important Points, and especially about Athanasanism, which seems his most peculiar Concern. He frequents the most publick Coffee-houses, where most are prone to fhew him Respect, and none dare fhew him any Disrespect; the Clergy either flying before him, or making a feeble Opposition to him. By all which he has made a Multitude of Converts to the Belief; that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three different intelligent Agents, and not three intelligent Agents, making bụt one intelligent Agent; that the Father was tefore and is greater than the Son ; that The Son is not the same Being with the Father; and that the Father is the One God, (as
(9) Second Append. to Hiff. Pref.
fay both the (r) Scripture and Nicene Creed), or that there are no other Gods but him; all Doctrines contrary to the present Orthodoxy, And he has foften'd the Zeal of many more, who used to call for Fire from Heaven, or the Sword of the Magistrate to defend their Sentiments. He has at this Time so much Credit, that he now says and prints what he pleases, without incurring any Hazard of Persecution from real or pretended Zealots; who are forced to yield to the fuperior Splendor and Power of his Honesty, Sense, and Learning, and fear drawing upon themselves something of more fatal Consequence, than the present Conversions that he makes. And I am perswaded, that if any Country could but furnish twenty fuch Men as he; that they would, without Pay and with mere Liberty to speak their Sentiments, put to flight twenty thoufand listed to support Error.
He is a Person, who forms vaft Projects and Designs for the Defence of natural and reveald Religion, and for restoring what he calls primitive Christianity among us; as appears by his Theory of the Earth; his ChronoŽogy of the Old Testament and Harmony of the Four Gospels; his Elay on the Revelation of St. John; his Primitive Christianity revived; his astronomical Principles of natural and reveald Religion; his Essay to restore the true Text of the Old Testament; and his Dengn
(r) Matt. xii. 32. Ti:n. ii. 5:
John xvii. 3.
Cor. viii. 4, 6.
of a new interleaved Bible with large Additions and divers Particulars to confirm and illustrate the fame, that fo all honest Enquirers may be able to judge for themselves, about the Truth of those Scriptures, and to understand the greatest Part of them impartially, without the Danger of Impoßtion from common Prejudices; from any later particular Expofations or Mistakes whatsoever; to say nothing, or not to enter into the Detail of his leffer numerous Projects, Essays, Dehgns, and Theories in Behalf of Religion. Nor is he without great Designs for the Improvement of Philofophy, and for the Welfare and Trade of his Country; as appears by his Attempts to explain the Philosophy of Sir IS A AC NewTon, and his other Works in Mathematicks and Phyhcks; but above all, by his Attempts to discover the Longitude, for which he deserves the Reward promised by Parliament, though he should not succeed. But the greatest Good, that he promotes, seems to me what he does not design; and That is, by putting Men upon Enquiries, to make them fee farther than himself, and to reject his narrow Opinions.
He is a very serious and grave Perfon, but yet chearful, and no Enemy to innocent Mirth; and he is, even, capable of laughing (s) heartily at egregious Nonsense, Stupidity, and Folly in the most folemn Persons, when they speak about the most folemn Things. I will conclude this Account of him, with observing that all the reformed Churches, and especially your Church of Scotland (which is in a peculiar Manner the Object of theological Spite among us) are highly obliged to him for a most ingenious Defence of the Validity of their Ministry in his Argument to prove, that either all Persons folemnly, though irregularly set apart for the Ministry, are real Clergymen, and all their ministerial Acts are valid; or else there are now no real Clergymen or Christians in the World. Wherein your Ministry, which is so undeservedly contemptible in the Eyes of our Clergy, who do not make a juft Comparison between themselves and their Neighbours, is, as it ought to be, set upon as good a Foot as any Ministry whatsoever.
p) See one of his printed Letters.