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By Sir RICHARD BLACKMORE, Knt. M. D. AND FELLOW OF THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS IN LONDON.
"Principio cœlum, ac terras campófque liquentes,
IT T has been the opinion of many perfons of great fenfe and learning, that the knowledge of a God, as well as fome other felf-evident and uncontested notions, is born with us, and exifts antecedent to any perception or operation of the mind. They exprefs themselves on this fubject in metaphorical terms, altogether unbecoming philofophical and judicious enqui ries, while they affert, that the knowledge of a God is interwoven with our constitution, that it is written, engraven, ftampt, and imprinted in clear and difcernible characters on the heart; in which manner of fpeech they affect to follow the great orator of the Romans.
By thefe unartful phrafes they can mean nothing but this, that the propofition, THERE IS A GOD, is actually. exiftent in the mind, as foon as the mind has its being; and is not at firtt acquired, though it may be afterwards confirmed, by any act of reafon, by any argument or demonftration. I must confefs my inability to conceive this inbred knowledge, thefe original independent ideas, that owe not their being to the ope ration of the understanding, but are, I know not how, congenite and co-exiftent with it.