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the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, John Shute, (search)
ist—it was their custom to discuss such topics with that openness and freedom which is the peculiar privilege of enlightened and well-instructed minds, untrammelled by the arbitrary restrictions of any human authority, and free to follow the light of truth into whatever path it appeared to lead. They had also the occasional company at these learned conferences of one of the most remarkable of the freethinkers of that period, Mr. Anthony Collins, who was a neighbour of Lord Barrington's in Essex, and a frequent visitor at his house. In one of their conversations, Mr. Collins is said to have observed, that he had a very great respect for the memory of St. Paul; and added, I think so well of him, who was both a man of sense and a gentleman, that if he had asserted he had worked miracles himself, I would have believed him. Lord Barrington immediately produced a passage in which that Apostle asserts his having wrought miracles; (perhaps 1 Cor. XIV. 18;) Mr. Collins appeared somewhat d