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is a species containing under it as many individuals as there are men? Do they mean to contend, with some of the Fathers, that three men are only “ abusively” called three, being in reality only one? What mercy would Dr. Whately have for such unskilful controversialists ? Is this however the deliberate view of the whole thirteen, or is it only the rashness of one of them ;-for it is very important to have so definite a statement of what is meant by the Trinity in Unity.
VI. It is most incorrectly stated (Preface, p. xx.) that “Dr. Priestley, Mr. Lindsey, Mr. Belsham, not to mention earlier writers, have laboured hard to show that the Fathers of the three first centuries were Unitarians, and believers in the simple humanity of Jesus Christ.” Such a labour was never undertaken by these writers, nor by any one else. It is capable of proof that the Fathers of the three first centuries were not Trinitarian in the Athanasian sense ; but that they were believers in the simple humanity of the Christ, no one maintains, from the time that Platonism first began to transform Christianity into harmony with its own peculiar ideas. That Unitarians have supported this view by " hardy misquotations,” is, to say the least of it, an unwise provocation from men who have in the course of this Controversy been convicted of the most careless misquotations both in their own case (see especially preface to the Seventh Unitarian Lecture), and in that of their favourite Champion (see the Appendix to the Sixth Unitarian Lecture). That the substantial
statements of Unitarians as to the Unitarianism of the primitive Church have been overturned by Bull, &c., (Trinitarian preface, p. xxi.) is a hardy assertion in the face of the following quotations from Bull himself : "In the first and best ages, the Churches of Christ directed all their prayers ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, TO GOD ONLY, through the alone mediation of Jesus Christ." —Answer to a Query of the Bishop of
Meaux, p. 295.
“ The Father is rightly styled The WHOLE, as he is the fountain of divinity: For the divinity which is in the Son and in the Holy Ghost, is the Father's, because It 18 DERIVED FROM THE FATHER.”—Defence, sect. ii. 8.
For another quotation from Bishop Bull, see also telace, p. vi., to the Seventh Unitarian Lecture.
• The “thirteen Clergymen,” finding that Mr. sham's " Improved Version” was not a STANDARD th us, and knowing perhaps that in our rejection of
w such we have been borne out by the Unitarian association at its recent general meeting in London, yet termined to find a standard for us somewhere, are P. xxvi.) put into our mouths, with marvellous vele, an appeal to Mr. Belsham's Translation of St. s Epistles. We have already given up the Mr. cam of the Improved Version, and they, for their
Sja purposes, represent us as making an appeal
Mr. Belsham of “the Epistles.” We will yield to terend opponents whatever consolation they may
e to derive from their imaginary triumph, in case
own easy pun to the M r. Bels
be able to de
we made this imaginary appeal. The Trinitarians cannot divest their minds of the idea that we must have an Authority somewhere. They cannot understand what is meant by deferring to principles alone ; by having no external Judge of Controversies, no shorter road to conclusions, than to submit every question to the fullest light that Knowledge and Inquiry have provided, or may yet provide. The Cæsar to whom we appeal from Mr. Belsham is not some other Mr. Belsham, or the same man in a different book, but the great principles of Criticism and of Interpretation, as recognized by competent judges of all parties.
VIII. For the faith of the Church of England, the “ thirteen Clergymen” declare, that “ it is alike their privilege and obligation to contend in that spirit of charity which becomes a believer in Jesus.” (Preface, p. xxviii.) We shall not open former wounds, but look simply to some of their last manifestations of " Charity,” in their General Preface.
1. They say of us (p. xxiii.), that “ Unitarians have borne some such proportion to the Christian Church, as monsters bear to the species of which they are unhappy distortions."
2. They “ decline to receive us as brethren, and to give us the right hand of fellowship,” partly because our doctrinal views of Christianity are different from their own, and partly because, as they aver, we maintain our views in dishonesty, using language hypocritically. We “ cannot be Christian brethren,” say
they," for we cannot tread the same road, even for an instant. They use the language of Christianity, without believing its mysteries. How, then, can we bid them God speed, while they are influenced by this spirit of unfairness ? "The words of their mouth are smoother than butter, but war is in their heart : their words are softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords.'" (pp. xxiv. XXV.)
3. We are charged with deliberately opposing our own minds to the mind of God. “That such unWearied hostility,” say they,“ is waged by Unitarians against the mind of God, as expressed in his word, all their publications unequivocally and mournfully attest.”
4. They describe us as “ blasphemers against the son of Man,” and they close this peculiar exhibition of "Charity” by offering up for us the following
merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest ing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of uner, but rather that he should be converted, and ce, have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and zeretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of on, and contempt of thy word,” &c. (p. xxix.) uruch is their “ Charity,” may we be permitted to awa, What form would their und such is the “General Preface,” which the "thirteen men” are deliberately of opinion that the issues
Controversy, and our mutual relations to each
of this Controve
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a le seuld most re dict the missioC aan history of this
other, justified them in writing. We confess that we
By their own act they entered with us into this Controversy ; they repeatedly recognized us during its continuance as the persons whom they were opposing, and whose Theology they had undertaken to refute ; yet our careful and respectful examination of their views, and statement of our own, have not been able to win from them one word either of notice or reply. However low their opinion may be of us, as of antagonists beneath their consideration, yet surely in an attack on Unitarianism in Liverpool, we are the persons whose views and influence they had most occasion to correct; and if no more respectful feeling, mere expediency, a regard for their own designs against Unitarianism, would seem to require some examination of
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We acknowledge it om least, is destructive