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T. Bensley, Printer, Bolt Court, Fleet Streets PREFACE

To the Second Edition.

Being dissatisfied with the manner in which the two following pieces were originally printed, I have determined to reprint them, and, at the same time, to avail myself of the

opportunity of presenting the reader with some additional matter, in confirmation of my argument. I have determined, I fay, to reprint, but not to republish them. The second, indeed, of these pieces never was published, though the contrary is asserted in the Retrospect of Domestic Literature, which

in the ninth volume of the Monthly Magazine.



13,109,(zv.) 7/10

What relates to me, I shall trantcribe, and then shall take the liberty of commenting upon it.

« Mr. Hollis (says the retrospector) has published An Apology for “ the Disbelief of Revealed Religion. “ If any apology be necessary for a o disbelief of revealed religion, as “ this respectable infidel conceives it

is, it should be made to the throne “ of heaven: we acknowledge the

jurisdiction of no earthly tribunal “ in matters of religion. Belief is “ an act not of volition, but of ne

cessity. Whether the publication wo of a man's reasons for disbelief re

quires an apology, is a different

question ; at any rate, we fee not “ the use of such a the

present, which has little novelty of argument."


This critic, it should seem, takes it forgranted, that an Apology implies the acknowledgment of something wrong, and, consequently, blameable. Did he then never read, or, if he has not read, did he never hear of, certain apologies of early christians for their religion? But if he has neither read nor heard of such ancient writings, he has certainly heard of, and possibly he may have read, a very recent Apology for the Bible, by a right reverend bishop. Now does this critic imagine either that the christians alluded to, meant to acknowledge how blameable they were in making profession of a bad religion, or that the bishop intended to confefs the wickedness of the book for which he has thought fit to publish his celebrated Apology? How

A 3


ever well informed this critic might: be, it appears, he had yet to learn, that the term apology (whatever it fignifies in vulgar speech) is used fy-nonymously with the term, defence.

But this fagacious critic, adopting the vulgar sense of the term, intimates that it



very proper to offer an apology to the throne of heaven for disbelief, while, at the same time, he argues, that there can be nothing wrong

in a man's belief, beo. caufe it is not an act of volition *. So,, it fhould seem, according to him,

* He fhould have and a voluntary aft. Every such act has a volition preceding it, but is not itself volition. They differ, as cause and effect. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as an act of volition. Volition is a state of mind from which the acts naturally flow which we term voluntary.


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