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Of the late Right Honorable
HENRY ST: JOHN,
LORD VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE.
Printed in the Year MDCCLIV.
ESSA Y II. continued.
OME reflexions on the folly and pre-
1.- 155 ESSAY III, Containing some further reflections on the
rise and progress of monotheism, that first and great principle of natural theology, or the first philosophy, 157–238
Concerning authority in matters of religion
INCE I have mentioned the compatibi
lity of fome remains of the groffest poly-,
theism with monotheism, and the princi. ples on which the few might conform to the many, at least in the exteriors of religion; it is necessary that I should explain myself on these heads, which contain the sum of theology or the first philosophy, as it was understood by the most in: telligent of the heathen, even in those countries where idolatry seemed to triumph the most.
It cannot be proved; without the help of the Old Testament, nor very well with it, as I have hinted above, that the unity of God was the primitive belief of mankind : neither does it
appear to my apprehension that in fact it could be so according to all the rules of judging that may be drawn from reason and analogy. But yet I think it sufficiently evident, from reason and analogy both, that this first and great principle of natural theology could not fail to be discovered as soon as some men began to contemplate themselves and all the objects that surrounded them, and to push their philosophical researches VOL II.