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has weight with myself as much as I desire it may have with you. I sincerely wish you a right judgment in all things, and remain, Your Friend and Servant,

DAN. WATERLAND. Magd. Coll. Nov. 13, 1720.

LETTER V. Sir, I GAVE you time to consider upon what I had before offered, that you might at length give up what you could no longer maintain. It was with me a preliminary article, that we should not run from point to point, to make a rambling and fruitless dispute of it; without settling and clearing any thing. I will not undertake to go through the obscurer parts of the controversy with you, while I find you so unwilling to apprehend plain things. It would be endless for me to explain my meaning every time you mistake it: for every explanation will still want a further explanation, and so on ad infinitum. I have neither leisure nor inclination to proceed in this way; nor do I see to what purpose it is. I have shewed my willingness, upon your own earnest request, to serve you in this controversy; but despair of any success in it. The civilest way now is, to break off a correspondence which can serve to no good end. You are well pleased with your own opinions, and I as well satisfied with mine. Which of us has the most reason, we shall both know another day. I am,

SIR,

Your Friend and Servant,

DAN. WATERLAND. Magd. Coll. Dec. 25, 1720.

A

DISSERTATION

UPON

THE ARGUMENT A PRIORI

FOR PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF

A FIRST CAUSE:

IN A

LETTER TO MR. LAW.

WATERLAND, VOL. III.

A

DISSERTATION

UPON

THE ARGUMENT A PRIORI

Α

FOR PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF

A FIRST CAUSE:

IN A

LETTER TO MR. LAW.

Sir, WHEN I last had the pleasure of your conversation, in company with one or two more ingenious friends, I remember we soon fell to asking each other, what news from the republic of letters; what fresh pamphlets stirring ; what works, relating either to religion or science, had appeared lately, or were soon likely to appear. Hereupon several things were mentioned, and passed off in discourse: but what we happened more particularly to dwell upon was, the consideration of some metaphysical pieces concerning the proving the existence of a Deity a priori, (as the Schools term it,) that is to say, from some supposed antecedent necessity, considered as a ground, or reason, or foundation, or internal cause, or formal cause of the Divine existence. And here, if I remember, we were inquisitive to know what those scholastic terms imported, and whether the thought contained in them was entirely new, a recent product of the eighteenth century; as also what weight or solidity there was in it: and, if there were none, whether it portended any detriment to religion or science, and might be worth the opposing or confuting. Upon the debating and canvassing the particulars now mentioned, my opinion then was, and I am since

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