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A Discourse of Free-Thinking, occasion'd by the Rise and Growth of a Sect call'd Free-Thinkers. London, 1713 [bound with] [Benjamin HOADLY], Queries Recommended to the Authors of the Late Discourse of Free Thinking. By a Christian. The Second Edition. London: James Knapton, 1713 [and] [Richard BENTLEY], Remarks Upon a late Discourse of Free-Thinking: In a Letter to F.H.D.D. By Phileleutherus Lipsiensis [2 parts]. London: John Morphew, 1713 [and] [Francis HARE], The Clergyman's Thanks to Phileleutherus, for his Remarks on the Late Discourse of Free-Thinking. In a Letter to Dr. Bentley. London: A. Baldwin, 1713.
1713 - 4 works in one volume, 8vo, 178, iii-vi, 31, [1], 85, [iv], 82, [1], 48 pp., contemporary panelled calf, joints cracked but holding firm, spine crinkled, extremities rubbed, contents listed in an early hand on front free endpaper, armorial bookplate of John Orlebar of the Middle Temple on first title verso, some leaves (including title-pages) dusty, the Bentley text fresh, the other three uniformly browned, overall very good copies. First edition of the key work by Locke's main follower and close friend Anthony Collins (1676-1729), bound with three early responses, all published in the same year. Provenance: the lawyer John Orlebar (1697-1765) served as Whig MP for Bedford from 1727 onwards. 'The right and the necessity to inquire freely and fearlessly into all subjects, especially religion, was Collins' constant and fundamental thesis. Its master statement is the Discourse of Free-Thinking . [in which] . Collins pointed out that the new science and the new philosophy had exposed many errors of the past; the Reformation was the result of fearless thinking on the part of a few leaders; the abundant literature of travel exposed the superstitions of peoples throughout the world and also the infinite numbers of pretenders to divine revelation. Freedom had exorcised the witches that so plagued James I and Charles I . The Bible, Collins continued, is clearly replete with corrupted texts -- 30,000 in the New Testament alone, according to one authority. Its text, therefore, is to be examined in the same scholarly and critical manner as the texts of all ancient books. The Discourse concluded with a refutation of the standard objections to freethinking. Atheism is not, after all, the worst of all evils; enthusiasm and superstition hold that title' (E.C. Mossner in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy). [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Rudi Thoemmes Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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