London / Cambridge: J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper / C. Corbet / M. Cooper / D. Henry for J. Payne, and J. Bouquet / J. and P. Knapton / J. Bentham, etc. / J. Shuckburgh, 1750. Full-Leather. Good / No Jacket. Item #2309668
Boards rubbed with a few discolored spots, lacks title label, ink name on front endpaper.
157; viii, 109; [vi], 23; 20; 36; [iv], 129; 116; 53 pp. Full sheep, gilt double rules, five raised spine bands. Bound volume of eight uncommon pamphlets relating to the controversy initiated by Conyers Middleton's Free enquiry into the miraculous powers supposed to have subsisted in the Christian church from the earliest ages (1748). Leslie Stephen called Middleton's Free Enquiry “incomparably the most effective [publication] of the whole deist controversy.” It was published the same year as Hume's first Enquiry which contains an essay, “On Miracles.” Many years later, in My Own Life (London 1777), Hume confessed his chagrin: “On my return from Italy, I had the mortification to find all England in a ferment, on account of Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, while my performance was entirely overlooked and neglected.” There was every reason to compare the two books, for the tendency of both was to undermine the belief in the miraculous. But whereas Hume was raising methodological difficulties about the possibility of providing adequate historical proof of such occurrences … Middleton was concerned primarily with the [adequacy of the] historical evidence actually available." - Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Middleton was prepared to accord greater authority to the miracles recounted in the Bible than to those attested to by the later Church Fathers. Includes: A Dissertation on II Peter i. 19.: Occasioned by Middleton's Free Enquiry, directed at the arguments in Anthony Collins' deistic Discourse on the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion (1724). Ashton's opposition to Middleton is said to have caused a permanent rupture in the relationship with his friend and patron Horace Walpole.; An Impartial Examination of the Bishop of London's Late Appendix to a Dissertation on the Sense of the Ancients before Christ upon the Circumstances and Consequences of the Fall.: Printed by the “learned printer,” William Bowyer. Sherlock had been an object of Middleton's attacks.; Remarks on Dr. Sherlock's, Now Bishop of London's, First Dissertation; in a Letter to His Lordship.; The Plan of a Supplement to Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, Exhibited in a Dissertation on the Baptism and Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Ghost.; An Examination of the Consequences of Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, &c.; Two Questions, Previous to Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, Impartially Considered: Thirty-five years before Sykes was part of a small group associated with Samuel Clarke at Cambridge and a partisan of Bentley in an earlier dispute with Middleton.; An Impartial Examination of the Free Inquiry: The Primitive Fathers Vindicated, and the Necessity of Miracles maintain'd, to the Conclusion of the Third Century. in A Letter to Dr. Middleton; Some Remarks upon Mr. Church's Vindication of Miraculous Powers, &c., with An Observation or Two upon Dr. Stebbing's Christianity Justified, So Far as Relates to This Subject.