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fury of which you have borne, and which you have, in some measure, broken, and rendered less hazardous to those who come after you. My time of withdrawing from this busy scene is not yet come; but while I feel myself animated with your love of truth, I shall enjoy an enviable composure even in the midst of the tempeft; and I shall endeavour to relieve the severity of these more serious pursuits, with those of philofophy; as you have done with those of classical literature.'

Whatever you may think of some parts of my reasoning in the principal work, now presented to you, I am confident you will approve of the main object of it, and especially the Sequel. You have long been an assertor of the proper unitarian doctrine, and cannot be displeased with my en

24

deavour

deavouring to trace to their source in heathen antiquity, those 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 Christ, you justly

consider as respectively essential to natural and revealed religion ; and confequently entertain a reasonable sufpicion 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, so much the more do they excite your indignation and zeal.

I rejoice with you, on account of such a prevalence of free inquiry, and good sense in matters of religion, in the present age, as cannot fail, in the

end,

DEDICATION. ix end, to overturn the antichristian lyftems that have been permitted by divine providence to prevail so long in the christian world, and consequently (though probably in a remote period) the antichristian tyrannies that have supported them.

I am,
with the greatest esteem,
Dear Sir,
your affe&ionate friend,
and christian brother

J. PRIESTLEY.

Calne, July, 1777.

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TT may appear something extraordinary, I but it is strictly true, that but a very few years ago, I was so 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 christians in the present age, I had always taken it for granted, that man had a soul distinct from his body, though with many modern divines, I supposed it to be incapable of exerting any of its faculties, independently upon the body; and I believed this foul to be a substance so intirely distinct from matter, as to have no property in common with it. Of this several traces may be found in my Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion, and probably in some 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 substances so intirely

hetero

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