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and that there should be a new edition of the whole in three volumes, in which the several additions and illustrations should be distributed in their proper places. But as this would render the former edition very incomplete, and might seem to be a wrong to those that had purchased it, it was judged more advisable to publish a distinct volume, which should comprehend all those additions and illustrations, leaving the former volumes to stand as they are. Among the additions which are now published, one relates to the Earl of Shaftesbury. Some gentlemen, who are great admirers of that noble author, thought I had pushed the charge against him too far, especially on the head of future rewards and punishments
. This occafioned my reviewing that
of the first volume, and adding to the observations which had been there made, and which, upon the most impartial confideration, I have found no reason to alter, or retract. Another large addition relateth to the pamphlet intitled, Deism. 5
fairly stated, and fully vindicated, which some thought was too slightly paffed over, in the first volume of the View, and which is now therefore more fully confidered. There is also a considerable addition relating to the remarks I had made on Mr. Hume's Essay on Miracles ; and which was occafioned by an ingenious paper that was fent me not long after the publication of the second volume. I have added some observations on those paffages in Mr. Hume's Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, which seem designed to cast a flur on the evangelical morality. These are the most considerable additions. The rest are smaller pieces, and are, for the moft part, such as were originally designed to have been inserted in the fecond volume, when it was first published; to which several others, relating to both volumes, are now added. And the reader is directed by proper references to the pafsages in the two preceding volumes, to which they belong. I am sensible, chat as they are now published, they have the
disadvantage of appearing as so many detached pieces, without much order or connection. This will stand in
need of favourable allowances. And I may perhaps be thought to presume too much upon the indulgence the public has shewn me, in publishing what may look like incoherent fragments. But I chuse rather to incur the censure this might subject me to, than to do any thing that might render the former edition less valuable to those who have so generously encouraged it. And I have endeavoured, in fome measure, to make up for that defect, by introducing them in such a manner as to form some kind of connection between the scattered pieces ; and, for that purpose, have thrown them into the form of Letters, which, like those of the former volumes, are directed to my worthy friend the Rev. Dr.Wilson.
It has been hinted to me, that an IN-Dex would be highly proper in a work of this kind, which treats of a great va.riety of matters, and in which many authors are referred to. I had thoughts
accordingly of adding an Index at the end of the second volume.
But it was become so large, that I was afraid it would have swelled it beyond its due proportion; and therefore omitted it. But there is an Index now subjoined, which may serve for both the former volumes, and for that which is now published. And this may perhaps be-looked upon as a real advantage to the work.
I have been desired to prepare a new edition of the Refleétions on Lord Bolingbroke's Letters on the Study and Use of History. And as this hath a near affinity to the subjects treated of in the View of the Deistical Writers, and will help to complete that part of it which relates to Lord Bolingbroke, it is here added to this volume. The political part is left out, as not so well suited to the main design of this work; but there is a considerable addition made to it, with relation to the curse pronounced upon Canaan, which, in the opinion of some judicious friends, was not so fully considered before as it ought to have been.
This addition was drawn up by me fome time ago, and sent over, in order to be inserted in the new edition of these Reflecticns, before I saw Dr. Newton's accurate dissertation on this subject, in his excellent differtations upon prophecy, which came but very lately into my hands.--- It will now probably be thought not fo necessary : but I have chosen to let it stand as it was first drawn
because it may possibly not be without its ufe, and will tend to render the Reflections on Lord Bolingbroke's Letters more complete.---The method I have pursued is fomething different from Dr. Newton's. He seems to incline to think there is an omission in the Hebrew copies. --- But I chuse to defend the paffage according to the present reading of the Hebrew com pies, which is followed by almost all the antient versions, as well as by our own tranflators; and, in my opinion, good reasons might be given to shew that it is to be preferred to the reading some learned men would substitute instead of it.