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tact with religion ; nor are any objects reverently regarded by us, except such as, from their nature or their vastness, are felt to transcend our comprehension.” Nay, it is not a little remarkable, that the very illustration employed by the “thirteen Clergymen”> to exhibit our absurdity in rejecting the incomprehensible, had been previously employed by ourselves to exhibit the necessity of admitting the incomprehensible :Trinitarian Preface, p. xvii.
Unitarian Lecture, No. V. p. 9. "Much of the great mystery
“ The sense of what we do of godliness, God manifest in the
not know is as essential to our flesh, with all the firmament of
religion, as the impression of saving truth and love, whereof
what we do know : the thought It is the radiant centre, must re of the boundless, the incomprehain inexplicable to our pre hensible, must blend in our mind sent capacities. But to argue
with the perception of the clear rom thence, that this mystery
and true; the little knowledge 18 a cunningly-devised fable, is we have must be clung to, as is Wogical as it would be to the margin of an invisible im .
and that there is no bottom mensity; and all our positive o the sea, because we have no
ideas be regarded as the mere line with which it may be float to show the surface of the
| infinite deep.” 8 is bold misrepresentation ; a consistent hardi. ood in the “ tactics of holy war.” To persevere. ust all remonstrance, in the repetition of a misnent injurious to an opponent, and to do this so Tas to use almost his own words in imputing to the very opposite of what he has said, is at least venient, if not an honourable nor yet a formi.
plumb-line with w fathomed.”
This is b
a convenient dable policy.
In the same spirit of neither honourable nor yet formidable policy, is the attempt (p. xvii.) to identify Mahometanism and Unitarianism, by the help of a literary forgery, which even if it was authentic, would prove nothing except that the early Unitarians of England, in the reign of Charles the Second, amid the corruptions of Christianity, rejoiced in the testimony borne by Mahometanism to the great doctrine of revealed religion, the Unity of God. It is said that there is, among the MSS. in the Lambeth Library, a “ Socinian Epistle (to this effect) to Ameth Ben Ameth, Ambassador from the Emperor of Morocco to Charles II.” Leslie, in the Preface to his “ Socinian Controversy Discussed,” was the first who made use of this supposed letter, and not without the suspicion, that he had first forged it himself.* “I will here,” says Leslie, “ present the reader with a rarity, which I take to be so, because of the difficulty I had to obtain it.” “ It is in my mind,” says Mr. Aspland,“ decisive of the question, that immediately after Leslie had published the Epistle, Emlyn, who answered the tract to which it was prefixed, stated it as his belief, upon inquiry, that no such epistle had ever been presented by any one deputed' from the Unitarians, and insinuated
* See “ A Plea for Unitarian Dissenters,” pp. 88–9, published in 1813, by the Rev. Robert Aspland, from whom we take the exposure of this forgery now brought forth again ; for in Trinitarian Controversy falsehood seems immortal, and there is no work for us modern advocates, except to “slay the slain.”
that no credit was to be given to a document published by Leslie, unless vouched by some other authority than his own; and that Leslie, in replying to this answer, though he dwells, for pages, upon the passages before and after this, relating to the epistle, says not a syllable about his ' rarity' or in defence of his veracity.” “Leslie," continues Mr. Aspland, " is convicted (by Emlyn) of quoting passages from Archbishop Tillotson's Sermons, which had been published in the name of their eminent author, as if they were the work of an avowed 'Socinian.' And if you will consult his reply, you will find this theological braggart completely humbled, and reduced to the necessity of using the wretched plea, that he had omitted the name of the
great Prelate,' out of tenderness.—Is it unchariable to suspect, under all these circumstances, that he
ho was proved to have resorted to one trick, might have had recourse to another ?”
"As to your rarity,'” says Emlyn in his reply to Leslie, “ of the address to the Morocco ambassador, I
hot what it amounts to, more than a complaint of the anuption of the Christian faith, in the article of one vod, which the Mahometans have kept, by consent of all ades. Yet, forasmuch as I can learn nothing from any
tarians of any such address from them, nor do you poluce any subscribers’ names,* I conclude no such There is internal evidence of its being written in the way of ban
subscription appears to it, and no person is named as con. in it, but a Monsieur Verze, a Frenchman, who might be d as an agent, and yet not be a 'Socinian' agent.”—ASPLAND.
ter. No subscri cerned in it, bu employed as an
address was ever made, by any deputed from them, whatever any single person might do. I suppose you conclude from the matter of it, that it must be from some Unitarian, and perhaps so ; yet you may remember that so you concluded from the matter of Dr. Tillotson's Sermons, that they were a Socinian's."*
For our own part, when we read this amusing attempt to identify us with Mahometans, by the help of an unknown letter, bearing no subscription, and addressed, by nobody knows whom, to the Ambassador of Morocco, in the reign of Charles II., we were forcibly reminded of two passages in Ecclesiastical History, in whose pages all tricks and absurdities can be paralleled, and whose exhibition of gratuitous follies and distortions has left the possibility of “ nothing new under the sun,” of this description, for our modern days. Hildebrand himself, yes, GREGORY THE SEVENTH, like our poor selves, was suspected of a leaning to “ Islamism,” (General Preface, p. xvii.) because he wrote a letter, not to the Ambassador, as in our case, but, as became his greater dignity, to the Emperor of Morocco, thanking him for the liberation of some Christian cap
* Plea for Unitarian Dissenters, p. 137.
“ My Lords, if your Lordships attended to the manner in which that quotation is introduced into Leslie, you might see that it bore internal evidence of being something of the nature of a jeu d'esprit. ..... My Lords, this Leslie was a general maligner. .....I really think that this is raking into a dunghill to produce this address to the Ambassador of the Emperor of Morocco.”—The AttorneyGeneral before the House of Lords in the Lady Hewley Appeal, June 28th, 1839.
tives, and expressing his conviction, so much was there of the spirit of God and goodness in this act, “that they both worshipped the same spirit, though the modes of their adoration and faith were different.” It also appears that the Emperor Manuel Comnenus exposed himself to the same imputation of “ Islamism,” because he wished to correct an error in the ritual of the Greek Church, which by a laughable misunderstanding of an Arabic word, signifying eternal,"contained a standing anathema against the God of Mahomet,” as being " solid and spherical.”
“Solventur risu tabulæ ; tu missus abibis."
We confess our unmixed astonishment at finding the " thirteen Clergymen” avowing the most undis, sused Tritheism. We do not recollect in modern times 80 bold and unwary an admission of Polytheism as the following: “Our inability, therefore, to explain de Triunity of his Essence, can be no reason for re. Jecting the revelation of it contained in his Word .
If we were deprived of those shadows and reset malices of this divine truth, which may be seen in the mature of man, communicating itself to many in.
als of the species. There is one human nature many human persons.” (p. xix.) Is this then the "y of God which the “ thirteen” maintain, viz., such
y as subsists between three individual men ? Is ir meaning that the Divine Nature is a Species mning under it three Individuals, as human nature
dividuals of th