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If any object to the size of my book, my apologies are, the size of that to which it is intended as an answer, and the extent and importance of the subject.
Doctor Chauncy's book is indeed anonymous. Yet, as I am informed, that he and his most intimate friends have made no secret of the author's name; I presume I need not apologize for using the
I am sensible of the prejudice of many against controversy on religious subjects. But is it possible in all cases to avoid it? What is controversy properly managed, but rational or argumentative discussion? And is there to be no rational discussion of the subjects of religion ?-Heat and personal invective in such disquisitions are both impertinent and hurtful. But a cool discussion of the doctrines of religion, on the ground of reason and revelation, is undoubtedly one of the best means of investigating truth, of diffusing the knowledge of it, and of obtaining and giving satisfaction with regard to the difficulties which attend many moral and religious subjects. This is the mode of discussion, which I have endeavoured to observe in the following pages. To point out the inconsistence and absurdity of an erroneous system, and even to set them in the most glaring light; is not at all inconsistent with this mode of discussion. If in any instances I have devi
ated from this mode, and instead of adhering closely to the argument, have descended to personalities, and have endeavoured to bear hard on Dr. Chauncy, otherwise than by showing the weakness and inconsistence of his arguments; for every such instance I ask pardon of the reader, and allow it is of no advantage to the cause which I espouse. That cause must be a bad one indeed, which cannot be supported without the aid of personal reflections.
NEW-HAVEN, JUNE 29, 1789.
Containing an examination of Dr. C's arguments to prove
I. Remarks on Bishop Newton.