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Anthony Collins

published and afterwards

COLLINS, ANTHONY, an able free-thinking writer on religious questions, was b. in 1676, at Heston, near Hounslow, in Middlesex. Ile studied at Eton, and afterwards at King's college, Cambridge. In 1707, he published his Essay Concerning the Use of Human Reason; and in 1709, his Priesteraft in Perfection, etc., which fluttered the churchmen of that time exceedingly. The controversy excited by this last work induced C. to write his Historical and Critical Essay on the Thirty-nine Articles. His next work was a Vindication of the Divine Attributes, in reply to the archbishop of Dublin, who asserted the compatibility of divine predestination and human freedom. C. was a philosophical necessitarian, and afterwards advocated his opinions more fully in his Philosophical Inquiry Concerning Liberty and Necessity (1715). In 1711, he went to Holland, where he made the friendship of Le Clerc and other eminent literati. On

his return to England, he published his Discourstron Free-thinking, the best known and the most important of all his works. In 1718, he was made treasurer for the co. of Essex; and in 1724, appeared his Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, which gave occasion to no less than thirty-five replies. Two years later, he defended himself in his Scheme of Literal Prophecy; and in 1727, published his last work, A Reply to Dr. Roger's Eight Sermons on the _Necessity of Revelation and the Truth of Christianity. C.

died in Dec., 1729. He was a friend and correspondent of Locke, who declared that "C. had as much love of the truth for the truth's sake, as ever he had met with in any body." His character for integrity and benevolence stood very high.