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RIGHT HONOURABLE

CHARLES Lord TALBOT

Baron of HEN SOL, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain,

The following TREATISE is with all

Respect, Inscribed, in Acknowledgment of the Highest Obligations to the late Lord Bishop of DURHAM and to HIMSELF,

By His LORDS H I P's

most dutiful,

most devoted,

bumble Servant,

Joseph BUTLER.

ADVERTISEMENT.

If the Reader should meet here

with any thing, which he had not before attended to, it will not be in the Observations upon the Conftitution and Course of Nature, these being all obvious; but in the Application of them: In which, though there is nothing but what appears to me of some real Weight, and therefore of great Importance; yet he will observe several things, which

will appear to him of very little, . if he can think things to be of lit

tle Importance, which are of any real Weight at all, upon such a Subject as Religion. However, the pro

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per

per Force of the following Treatise, lies in the whole general Analogy considered together.

It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by many Persons, that Christianity is not so much as a Subject of Inquiry; but that it is, now at length, discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it, as if, in the present Age, this were an agreed Point, among all People of Discernment; and nothing remained, but to set it up as a principal Subject of Mirth and Ridicule, as it were by Way of Reprisals, for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the World. On the contrary, thus much, at least, will be here found, not taken for granted, but proved, that any reaso . nable Man, who will thoroughly consider the Matter, may be as much assured, as he is of his own Being,

that

that it is not, however, so clear a Case, that there is nothing in it. There is, I think, strong Evidence of its Truth ; but it is certain no one can, upon Principles of Reason, be satisfied of the contrary. And the practical Consequence to be drawn from this, is not attended to, by every one who is concerned in it.

May 1736.

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