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THE RIGHT REVEREND
EDWARD, LORD BISHOP OF WORCESTER,
CONCERNING SOME PASSAGES RELATING TO
MR. LOCKE'S ESSAY OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING,
LATE DISCOURSE OF HIS LORDSHIP'S, IN VINDICATION OF THE TRINITY.
THE RIGHT REVEREND
EDWARD, LORD BISHOP OF WORCESTER.
I CANNOT but look upon it as a great honour, that your lordship, who are so thoroughly acquainted with the incomparable writings of antiquity, and know so well how to entertain yourself with the great men in the commonwealth of letters, should at any time take into your hand my mean papers; and so far bestow any of your valuable minutes on my Essay of Human Understanding, as to let the world see you have thought my notions worth your lordship's consideration. My aim in that, as well as every thing else written by me, being purely to follow truth as far as I could discover it, I think myself beholden to whoever shows me my mistakes, as to one who, concurring in my design, helps me forward in my way.
Your lordship has been pleased to favour me with some thoughts of yours in this kind, in your late learned "Discourse, in Vindication of the Doctrine of the
Trinity ;" and I hope I may say, have gone a little out of your way to do me that kindness; for the obligation is thereby the greater. And if your lordship has brought in the mention of my book in a chapter, entitled, Objections against the Trinity, in Point of Reason, answered;" when, in my whole Essay, I think there is not to be found any thing like an objection against the Trinity: I have the more to acknowledge to your lordship, who would not let the foreignness of the subject hinder your lordship from endeavouring to set me right, as to some errors your lordship apprehends in my book; when other writers using some notions like mine, gave you that which was occasion enough for you to do me the favour to take notice of what you dislike in my Essay.
Your lordship's name is of so great authority in the learned world, that I, who profess myself more ready, upon conviction, to recant, than I was at first to publish, my mistakes, cannot pay that respect is due to it, without telling the reasons why I still retain any of my notions, after your lordship's having appeared dissatisfied with them. This must be my apology, and I hope such a one as your lordship will allow, for my examining what you have printed against several passages in my book, and my showing the reasons why it has not prevailed with me to quit them.
That your lordship's reasonings may lose none of their force by my misapprehending or misrepresenting them, (a way too familiarly used in writings that have any appearance of controversy) I shall crave leave to give the reader your lordship's arguments in the full strength of your own expressions; that so in them he may have the advantage to see the deficiency of my answers, in any point where I shall be so unfortunate as not to perceive, or not to follow, the light your lordship affords me.
Your lordship having in the two or three preceding pages, justly, as I think, found fault with the account of reason, given by the Unitarians and a late writer, in those passages you quote out of them; and then coming to the nature of substance, and relating what that author has