Free Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil. In Six Letters to —.
by Soame Jenyns
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Soame Jenyns served in the British Parliament during the 18th century. As well as several poetical works, Jenyns authored
a couple of theological essays, one on the problem of evil, and the other a work of apologetics. A Free Inquiry into the Nature and
Origin of Evil examines and proposes a potential answer to the questions raised by the existence of evil in a supposedly perfect
world created by God. Upon its publication, the essay received rather negative reviews, including one by Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson
condemned it as a superficial and flippant attempt to solve one of the most difficult moral problems. Jenyns, naturally, took offense
to Johnson's words, and he later published a second edition of A Free Inquiry prefaced by a defense of his work.