Henry Dodwell Jnr.

Life
?1715-1784; ed. Magdalen Coll., Oxford, BA, 1729; deist; ed Magdalen, Oxon., grad. 1726; a deistical pamphlet, Christianity not founded on argument (1742), which some mistook for a defence of Christianity. ODNB

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References
Dictionary of National Biography: d.1784; last major contributor to Deist controversy; lawyer, son of Henry Dodwell the Irish non-juror; classical scholar, prolific writer, and TCD grad.; br. of William Dodwell, who was a clergyman and close friend of David Hume; Henry Jnr.’s Christianity Not Founded on Argument (1741) is the only known work attributed to him.

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Quotations
Christianity Not Founded on Argument (1741): ‘It is by no means sufficient that your Argument be indeed conclusive in itself, unless you can adapt it effectually to my Understanding too, and make it conclusive to me. It must be upon such a Connexion only, that all my Duty in the Case can possibly be grounded. For in what Relation can any thing stand to me, of which I have no Perception? Your Musick may possibily be just in its Kind to the most critical Exactness, but as long as I am naturally deaf or untuned to the Voice of the Charmer, charm he never so wisely and expertly, it is impossible for you to expect that I should ever pronouce from my own Knowledge that he does so, or express any marks of my Approbation or Applause upon the Occasion. It must be one that heat Ears to hear, and be properly affected by it; one, who having cultivated a Taste for Harmony and Concords, is become able to receive it, that must give it its due Testimony. For me, under my unlucky Impediment, it can be no Affront to the justness of Composition, nor any just Ground of Offence to the Performer, that I have really nothing to say to it.’ (p.44.) ‘Now if the Case of invincible Ignorance, which these Moderators pronounce so tenderly upon, be indeed a Plea to be ever tolerated, and uncovenanted Mercy lies still open to such as, from some natural instinct and impediment, are constrained to refuse the Tender of a Saviour’s Name and Mediation, what are become of all the Privileges of the Pale?’ (p.44). The pamphlet is written as though by a Methodist, a free-thinking sceptic empiricist.’ (See Nicola Scott, unpubl. MLitt. thesis, TCD, 1990.)

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