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[257] British regiments, two battalions of royal Ameri-
chap XI.} 1757.
cans, and five companies of rangers, accompanied him. ‘His sailing,’ said the Canadians, ‘is a hint for us to project something on this frontier.’1 Loudoun reached Halifax on the last day of June, and found detachments from England already there; and on the ninth of July the entire armament was assembled.

At that time, Newcastle was ‘reading Loudoun's letters with great attention and satisfaction,’ and praising his ‘great diligence and ability.’ ‘My Lord,’ said he, ‘mentions an act of parliament to be passed here; I don't well understand what he means by it.’ Prince George, not surmising defeat, was thoughtful for the orthodoxy of America. A class of bold inquirers, Shaftesbury, Collins, Toland, Bolingbroke, Hume, had attacked the scholastic philosophy and the dogmas of the Middle Ages, had insinuated a denial of the plenary inspiration of the Bible and of the credibility of miracles, and had applied the principle of skeptical analysis to supernatural religion, and the institutions and interests connected with the, Established Church. They were freethinkers, daring to question any thing; they were deists, accepting only the religion of nature and reason. In Europe, where radical abuses in canon law introduced anarchy and skepticism into the heart of faith, these writers assisted to hasten a revolution in the public mind; they pointed the epigrams of Voltaire, and founded a school of theology in Germany, while in England one half the cultivated class received their opinions. Fearing their influence in

1 Malartie to the Minister, 16 June, 1757. N. Y. Paris Doc., XIII. 21.

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