Law's Case of Reason (1732), in answer to Tindal's Christianity as old as the Creation is to a great extent an anticipation of Bishop Butler's famous argument in the Analogy.
It was translated into English and improved with notes by Tindal, in 2 vols.
Thus it was Bentley versus Collins, Sherlock versus Woolston, Law versus Tindal.
Revealed religion had been declared to be nothing but a republication of the truths of natural religion (Matthew Tindal, Christianity as Old as the Creation), and all revelation had been objected to as impossible.
The chief names amongst the deists are those of Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648), Charles Blount (1654-1693), Matthew Tindal (1657-1733), William Wollaston (1659-1724), Thomas Woolston (1669-1733), Junius Janus (commonly known as John) Toland (1670-1722), the 3rd earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713), Viscount Bolingbroke (1678 - I 751), Anthony Collins (1676 - I 729), Thomas Morgan (?-1743), and Thomas Chubb (1679-1747).(Fn 2) Peter Annet (1693-1769), and Henry Dodwell (the younger; d.
Tindal's aim seems to have been a sober statement of the whole case in favour of natural religion, with copious but moderately worded criticism of such beliefs and usages in the Christian and other religions as he conceived to be either non-religious or directly immoral and unwholesome.
It was against Tindal that the most important of the orthodox replies were directed, e.g.
Chubb dwells with special emphasis on the fact that Christ preached the gospel to the poor, and argues, as Tindal had done, that the gospel must therefore be accessible to all men without any need for learned study of evidences for miracles, and intelligible to the meanest capacity.
Externally Chubb is interesting as representing the deism of the people contrasted with that of Tindal the theologian.
During the 18th century deism spread widely, though its leaders were " irrepressible men like Toland, men of mediocre culture and ability like Anthony Collins, vulgar men like Chubb, irritated and disagreeable men like Matthew Tindal, who conformed that he might enjoy his Oxford fellowship and wrote anonymously that he might relieve his conscience " (A.
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