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His offence in the eyes of de Crousaz was that he had left out of account all doctrines of orthodox theology.
In the reign of George the Second, questionings did spread that went to the roots of all religious faith, and many earnest minds were busying themselves with problems of the state of Man, and of the evidence of God in the life of man, and in the course of Nature.
Pope’s argument, good or bad, had nothing to do with questions of theology.
Like Butler’s, it sought for grounds of faith in the conditions on which doubt was rested.
And when his closing hymn was condemned as the freethinker’s hymn, its censurers surely forgot that their arguments against it would equally apply to the Lord’s Prayer, of which it is, in some degree, a paraphrase.
The first design of the Essay on Man arranged it into four books, each consisting of a distinct group of Epistles.