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Extra resources for David Williams : the anvil and the hammer

Sample text

33 Wollaston — whose book enjoyed a remarkable vogue over several decades, an eighth edition appearing in 1759 — must himself be placed within the tradition of Shaftesbury's insistence on the divine perfection of Nature, or indeed within a humanist trend emerging from the Renaissance.  But insofar as concerns his derivation of a moral code, indeed a moral sense, from the pleasure­and­pain­based lessons of experience the significant influence is that of David Hartley.  Thus his treatment of property rights and social obligations goes straight back to mid­Tudor Commonwealth, indeed to Erasmian, idealism.

Page 22 Plate 4.  It must be stressed, firstly, that the foregoing themes are interrelated and overlapping, and secondly, that we are concerned with an evolution of personal beliefs rather than with the emergence of an original, coherent and consistent religious philosophy.  These, so to speak, did the damage. '10 It seems abundantly clear that while his apostasy derived primarily from financial and careerist considerations, the preaching of formal Christianity had for some time been irksome.  The conviction expressed in The Philosopher that the truth of Christianity resides in its injunction of the plainest principles of pious and moral obligation was to endure, despite increasing reservations as to the immortality of the soul and the salvation offered by the Crucifixion.

It must be stressed, firstly, that the foregoing themes are interrelated and overlapping, and secondly, that we are concerned with an evolution of personal beliefs rather than with the emergence of an original, coherent and consistent religious philosophy.  These, so to speak, did the damage. '10 It seems abundantly clear that while his apostasy derived primarily from financial and careerist considerations, the preaching of formal Christianity had for some time been irksome.  The conviction expressed in The Philosopher that the truth of Christianity resides in its injunction of the plainest principles of pious and moral obligation was to endure, despite increasing reservations as to the immortality of the soul and the salvation offered by the Crucifixion.

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