By Isabel Rivers
This quantity completes Isabel Rivers' widely-acclaimed exploration of the connection among faith and ethics from the mid-seventeenth to the later eighteenth centuries. She investigates what occurred while makes an attempt have been made to split ethics from faith, and to find the basis of morals within the structure of human nature. Her e-book will pay shut awareness to the stream of rules throughout the British Isles, and demonstrates the large effect of Shaftesbury's ethical proposal. Meticulously researched and accessibly written, this research makes an important contribution to our realizing of eighteenth-century proposal.
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Additional resources for Reason, Grace, and Sentiment: A Study of the Language of Religion and Ethics in England, 1660-1780, Volume 2: Shaftesbury to Hume
37 His Advertisement made clear the occasion of his work: 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 ®ctitious. 40 Other encounters with freethinking principles do not have the same philosophical importance. But several are worth consulting and make interesting individual points, for example Thomas Halyburton's Natural Religion Insuf®cient . . 41 Freethinking is a continual preoccupation of the early Boyle lectures delivered between 1692 and 1714, to which Bentley was the ®rst contributor; in his dedicatory letter to the Boyle trustees Bentley quotes from Boyle's will de®ning the purpose of the sermons as `for proving the Christian religion against notorious in®dels, viz.
63 ±4. The true religion of nature 19 about the de®nition and role of reason that were very widely held in the early eighteenth century. But the freethinkers were not always the recipients. Gibson's Pastoral Letters provoked indignant replies from Tindal, An Address to the Inhabitants of . . London and Westminster (1729, revised 1730) and A Second Address (1730). The battle in this case was partly fought over the proper interpretation of intellectual sources. Assessing the origins of freethinking is a complex matter: there has been much disagreement as to the principal in¯uences on the freethinkers and their relative importance.
In the case of the latitudinarians the problem is exactly the opposite. With the exception of Toland, the freethinkers repeatedly associated themselves with certain seventeenth-century Anglican divines, especially Chillingworth, Taylor, More, Whichcote, Tillotson (probably the most quoted), and Burnet. '72 The terms freethinker and freethinking are often applied to favourite clerics. Shaftesbury calls Taylor and Tillotson `Free-thinking Divines';73 Collins calls Chillingworth `that true Christian and Protestant (and by consequence great Free-Thinker)' and the early Church Father Minutius Felix `a true modern Latitudinarian Free-Thinking Christian'.