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01 Apr

Marsh’s comment on Christianity Not Mysterious

A page of Toland's "Christianity Not Mysterious", annotated by Marsh © Marsh's Library (CC)

A page of Toland’s “Christianity Not Mysterious”, annotated by Marsh
© Marsh’s Library (CC)

Narcissus Marsh was a member of the Irish Parliament that ordered the burning of Christianity not Mysterious (1696) by the public hangman in Dublin on 11 September 1697. Nonetheless, he retained a copy which still survives in the library he founded. Marsh has underlined the last four words of Toland’s assertion that “This I stand by still, and may add, I hope, that I have clearly prov’d it too” and noted waspishly in the margin:

‘You have often said it indeed, but yet proved nothing, unless saying a thing is so be proving it to be so’.

This annotation was not enough for him; Marsh was the one who commissioned Peter Browne to write a response, published as a A letter in answer to a book entitled, Christianity not mysterious as also, to all those who set up for reason and evidence in opposition to revelation & mysteries published in 1697.

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