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William Nicholls.

A Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) online

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"V



Ql-f^



^ PRINCETON, N. J. ^



Presented biTvV^vS \ C\ fi/rx W^-V\ O r\



Dwisio7i
Section ■■






V, 1



l5BfT?vT?^^'v^6ft-



CONFERENCE



W I T H A



T HE I S T;

Containing aii

ANSWER

To all the mofl uM

Objecliom of the Infidels

Againft tfie

ClHRlSTiAJ? RELIGIOK4



In FIVE P/ARTS.

— , .,/ ^ — ■



^y WILLIAM NICHOLS, D.D.



The THIRD EDITION, with the Addition of Two
Conferences; the One with a Machiaveliany the
Other with an Atheifl,



All carefuilj revis'^d and prepared for the Prefi by the Author.
in Two V O L U M E So



Vol. I.



LONDON:

Printed for J. Holland, and J. Bo wye r, in St. Vauh
Church-yard; A. Be TTEs WORTH, and J. Batley,
in Pater-nofter-rcnu ; F. Clay, without Te?nple'bar -^ and
J. WALtHOE, >;^'. dver-againfi: the Koyal-Exchan^e,

M. Dec. XX HI.




THE



PREFACE



T O T H E



READER.




AVING oftentimes with Grief
conftdered the mighty Trogrefsj
which Atheifm and Infidelity
have made in this Ag^ ; 1
thought it was highly neceffary^that thofe^
who hy their Trofejfwn had made them-
Jelves Teachers and i>efenders of the Chri^
fiian Faith^ ought not tof^end their whole

A a Time



iv The Preface

Time in wforctng the Morality of its Tre^
ceptSj cmd in confuting Innovations made
in its ^oBrine and Government \ but
^juere obliged [ometimes to afford their Aid
toisDards the overthrowing thofe Trina^
' ples^ "which tend to the total Subverfton of
our common Chrijlianity, Socinians^ Pa-
piftsj and Schilmaticks-, it is true^ are
' guilty of very grievous and dangerous Er^
rorSy but yet the ^worfl of them maintain
fonie Tart of the Ground-work of Chri-
jlianity fiill ; but Atheifts who deny a
GoD^ and Theifts who dijown a Reve-
lation^ make our "whole Religion an Im-
pofmrej and all that have to. do "with it^
either Cheats or Fools. So that we^ that
are the Miniflers of the Gofpel^ are high^
ly concerned to life the utmofl of our Force
againjl thefe Opinions j which debauch cmd
damn jo many JMcn^ whofe Souls we
have the charge of "which tend to the
dijcredit and total overthrovo of our 7ro-
jejjion^ and expofe our Terfons to all the
foolijh Scoffs oj idle Men. Jslcty farther j
there is the greatejl danger from thefe
Infidel 'J)o(HrineSy becaufe they are efpoufed
by Men of all Tarties^ and by many of

thofe



to the R E A D E R.

thofey ipjho join them [elves ^with fomc pir-
■ ticular Body of Chrijlians ; for it is eajy
to obferve a great many Men railing hit^
terly againfl Papifts or Fanaticks^, ^ipjhcn
they believe no more ^/ Jelus Chrift^ than
they do of Traiifubftantiation ; and have
no more liking to the Goj^elj than to a
long canting Sermon, JSlo^w becauje fuch
Infidels lie herded among diverje Sects of
ChriflianSy as they are not jo eafily dif
cqmedy Jo they are not Jo vigoroujly oj)-
^ojed ; and by this means they have of
late gained fuch Strength^ that no-w they
begin to look formidable. It k dreadful
to think J what ^umbers of Men are pi-
Joned by Infidel "Principles ; for Atheilm
and Theifm are no'w got from the Court
to the Exchange, they begin to talk them
in Shops and Stalls^ and the Cavils of
Spinola and Hobbs are grown common^
even to the very Brabble. But the great-
ejl Encouragement "which Infidelity meets
"witby is from fome I^hilpjophical Gentle-
men J isoho find that the Scrij^ture Jeems
to contradict fome Motions in Thilojophyy
"which they have efpoufed^ or fame £v^
prirnentSjwhich they arq perfuaded of the

A3 Truth



VI The Preface

Truth of ; and therefore for that Reafon^
they "Will dtshelitve that ^ and all Revealed
Religion. ^O'w fome of thefe Gentle^
men^ being Men of Tarts and Letters^
and able to manage an Argument^ they
generally fet u^on fome unlearned Chrifli-
an y they puzzle and confound him isoith
l?hilofo^hich Terms and Ep^£eriments^ and
"with a Set of Jefls and Bantering E^-
prjfions againfl Scripture ; and "when thm
they have beat the £oor Man out of^^
Roadj they think they have for ever tri-^.
um^hed over Chrifiianity,

— Pudet haec opprobria nobis,

Et dici potuiile^ & non potuiffe refellL

Thefe Conjiderations have ^ut me u^on
Writing the foUoisoing dialogues ^ and have
encouraged me to conjider the chief of their
/IrgumentSy *which they are ^wont to make
ufe of tn their Difcourfe^ or "which have
been £uhlified of late in Atheiflical Wri^
tings : To the End that ipell-meaning
and religious Men^ ^whofe Leifure or Edu^
cation "will not let themfearchfo narrow-
ly into thefe ^if^uteSy may from this

Treatifc



to the R E A D E R^ vii

Trcatife be furni/fjed with [ufjicient ^t-
fwers to fuch Infidel Arguments, ^o'w
theje Ohjeclions are ^art of them taken
from the ^ifcourfe of fome Deifts, whom
I have cafually converjed 'with ; but mofl-
ly out of a Book £uUified fome Tears ago ^
called Oracles of Realbn^ the firjl Book
J ever Ja'w which did oj^enly avo^w In^
fidelity.

/Is for the ObfeSlions I have taken out
ofthatBook^ I have not always kept my
felf Jlrii^ly to the Words I found there ^
but chiefly to the Senfe j becaufe other -
^fcy fometimes the Argument "would be
too longj and fometimes too obfcure : And
J have generally drejfed u^ the Arguments
with that little varnifJo^ "which they ufuaU
ly a^^ear in from the Mouths of Infidels ;
becaufe for themofl Tart their frothy Wit
is the ^nnci^al Tart of their ObjeBion y
and therefore I have made Philologus
talk all along in their Vem^ left other^
'ways they might pretend the Argument
was marred. And this I ho£e will £.v-
cufe me to pom EarSj for thoje bold
and irreligiom Sv^r^/Z/bw^^ they "wiU meet
withal in the Mouth of rny Deift ;,

A 4 which



viii The Preface

"which they mujl covfider are not mincy
hit theirs ; and "-juben rr^eated in the
"Perfon of an Infidel^ I ho£e will not a^-
fear grating or profane^

For after aU the OljeHions "which I
have heard againft fuch a free JVaj of
urging the Theiflical Arguments in ^Dia-
logucy 1 fliU think it is more like to do,
good among Infidels^ than a methodical
^DiJToiirfe^ ranged into Chapter and Secti^
on ; for thoje that are tainted "with thefe
Opinions J are generally a fort of faflidiom
Students^ ""who though they talk muchy
read but very little^ and every Thing
"which is defigned for their Ufe mufl be
attempered to their Talatcs^ to make it
go do"wn "ipjith them. ^0"w the dialogi-
cal Way of all others is mofl aft to es^
cite Attention^ by conflantly ffringing uf
ne"w ObjeBionSj "which Jet a continual
Edge upon the Mindy and make it eager
to fee them removed ; fo that the Author
of a dialogue has this Advantage a^
hove other Sy that he carries the Readers
Thoughts al'isi}ays frefb along "with himy
which are generally loji^ or at leafl of-
ten grow languid in a contmned Dif-

courfe



to the R E A D E R.

courfe of any confiderable Length. I
have not mdeed brought tn fuch fre-^
quent Interlocutions as are requtfite for
a jufi Dialogue y like thofe



Online LibraryWilliam NichollsA Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 47)