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pers of idols. To those of the third class he says, that God gave the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, * " that they who could not raise their minds to intellectual (or spiritual] natures, being moved to think of something divine by objects of worship obvious to the senses, might willingly rest in these, and not fall away to idols and dæmons.”+ Such is the sentence which Jamieson has given as a specimen of the unintelligible context of Origen.
The last passage of Origen, produced by Dr. Priestley in this connexion, is as follows:
6 6 The maltitudes,' (i. e. the great mass or body) of believers, are instructed in the shadow of the logos, and not in the true logos of God, which is in the open heaven. "I
The next author whom Dr. Priestley quotes is Athanasius himself.
“ Athanasius also," he says, “like Tertullian, aeknowledged that the unitarian doctrine was very prevalent among the lower class of people in his time. He calls them the oi πολλοί, ,
and describes them as persons of low understanding. It grieves,' he says, “ those who stand up for the holy faith, that the multitude, and especially persons of low understanding, should be infected with those blasphemies. Things that are sublime and difficult are not to be appre. hended, except by faith; and ignorant people must fall, if they cannot be persuaded to rest in faith, and avoid curious questions."
Jamieson thinks that the turn of expression in the original implies that the heresy by which the multitude was infected
• Deut. iv. 19.
+ -το τες μη δυνάμενες επι την νοητην αναδραμειν φυσιν, δι' αισθητων θεων κινεμενες περι θεοτητος, αγαπητως καν εν τετοις ίσασθαι, και μη πιπTHLY STi sidwaa xau dasov... Orig. Op. tom. iv. p. 52. Edit. Delaru.
# Comment in Johan. tom. ii. sec. 4. Op. tom. iv. p. 56. Edit. Delaru. Second Letters to Dr. Horsley, Let. 8. Hist. of Earl. Opp. ubi sup.
$. Hist. of Earl. Opp. B. iii. c. 13, sect. 2. Athanasii Op. vol. i. p. 591. Paris, 1627. De incarnatione verbi cont. Paul. Samosat.
was something novel. The mode of expression on which he relies may be thus given in a translation. “Those who stand up for the holy faith are grieved on account of the blasphemies which are hurting the multitude.”* All, he says, that the language of Athanasius amounts to is, that “this heresy was getting in among them. It is hurting the multitude," he says. Any impartial person would understand his language as necessarily implying that their faith had been previously different; nay, that the persons referred to were not confirmed in heresy.” Jamieson then produces a quotation from Athanasius in which he speaks of the antiquity of his own faith, as derived from the apostles, and of the novelty of contrary opinions, which he calls vanities that have a new sound.
Whether or not there be any force in Jamieson's first remark, one might easily believe, without an express quotation to the purpose, that Athanasius claimed for his opinions the authority of the apostles, of the seriptures, and even of the tradition of the church. Nor is it much to be wondered at if he asserted the novelty of the contrary doctrinė. This doctrine however he affirms to be hurting the multitude. [Tous Tous.] The multitude therefore even in his day must have been favorably disposed to it.
Dr. Priestley, though not in immediate connexion with what I have been quoting from him, produces another passage of Athanasius to the same purpose.
“ That the unitarians," he says " were exceedingly numerous in the time of Athanasius, or not long before it, especially in Africa, is evident from his complaints on the subject. He says that “in Pentapolis of Upper Lybia, some of the bishops embraced the doctrine of Sabellius, and prevailed so much, that the Son of God was hardly preached in the churches.'”+
* Λυπει δε και νυν τις αντεχομενές της αγιας πιστεως, η περι των αυτων βλασφημιων βλαπτεσα τις πολλές.
+ Εν Πενταπολες της ανω Διβυης τηνικαυτα τινες των επισκοπων εφgeνησαν τα Σαβελλια και τοσετον ισχυσαν ταις επινοιαις, ως ολιγε
persκετι εν ταις εκκλησιαις κηρυττεσθαι τον υιον τε θεε. De Sententia Dionysii, Opera, vol. i. p. 552. Hist. of Earl. Opp. B. üii. C. 14.
of this passage of Athanasius, Jamieson makes a new translation. According to Athanasius, he says, " the heresy of Sabellius prevailed so much, that in a little time it was no longer necessary to preach the Son of God in the churches.' Although this passage could prove all that prevalence of unitarianism asserted by Dr. Priestley, it would still prove with no less force of evidence, that this doctrine was substituted for another. • 'The Son of God had been preached in the churches,' in that sense affixed to the expression by Athanasius. But this was no longer necessary;' because the followers of Sabellius believed that the Father was the Son.'»
It is yery much to the credit of Jamieson's honesty that he blunders and misrepresents where this is nearly or wholly useless. In the passage in question he translates as oriye pene Xito daw by the words, that in a little time it was no longer necessary. It would require but a moderate knowledge of the Greek to prevent one from falling into a mistake, such as Jamieson has here committed. It is one however wholly unimportant, except that a mistranslation so grossly incorrect as what he has given does in itself go very far toward settling the character of his learning. The phrase as oneys dav, which Jamieson has rendered that in a little time it wasessary,” is of a class of phrases of no infrequent occurrence. Its meaning is so that little was wanting,'—so that hardly.** Dr. Priestley's translation is perfectly correct, except that to be strictly literal he should have rendered Mnxett thus—and prevailed so much that the Son of God was hardly any more, preached in the churches:' or in other words-so that little was wanting that the Son of God should not be any more preached in the churches.
The errors of Jamieson are forced more unpleasantly into notice by the general flippancy of his style. His want of all requisite qualification for engaging in such a con
* A& in quibusdam loquendi formis junctum genitivo per Abest redditur-A0118 dai, Lat. Multum abest, Gall. Il s'en faut beaucoupo-Tk TUITOS de, il s'en faut tout-706878 de, Tantum abest-flixgx det, Parum abest, &c. Stephanus
troversy as the present would alone, even with much more fairness of mind than he possesses, be sufficient to destroy all confidence in his statements and assertions; for in such a controversy one can hardly trust to the representations even of honest ignorance.
But we proceed in our account. The next author whom Dr. Priestley quotes is Jerom:
“ These humble Christians of Origen," says Dr. Priestley, " who got ng farther than the shadow of the logos, the simplices, and idiotæ of Tertullian, and the persons of low understanding of Athanasius, were probably the simplices credentium of Jerom, who, he says, ' did not understand the scriptures as became their majesty.' For had these simple Christians (within the pale of the church) inferred from what John says of the logos, and from what Christ says of himself, that he was, personally considered, equal to the Father, Jerom would hardly have said, that they did not understand the scriptures according to their majesty,' for he himself would not pretend to a perfect knowledge of the mystery of the trinity. For these simple Christians,' he says, “ the earth of the people of God brought forth hay, as for the heretics it brought forth thorns. For the intelligent, no doubt, it yielded richer fruits.
66 From all these passages,” continues Dr. Priestley," and others quoted before, I cannot help inferring, that the doctrine of Christ being any thing more than a man, the whole doctrine of the eternal logos, who was in God, and who was God, was long considered as a more abtruse and refined principle, with which there was no occasion to trouble the common people; and that the doctrine of the simple humanity of Christ continued to be held by the common people till after the time of Athanasius, or after the council of Nice. And if this was the case then, we may safely conclude, that the unitarians were much more numerous in a more early period, as it is well known that they kept losing, and not gaining ground, for several centuries.
From the character likewise of those by whom the unitarian doctrine was held, Dr. Priestley thinks its antiquity may be inferred, because according to one of his Maxims of historical criticism* - The common or unlearned people, in any country, who do not speculate much, retain longest any opinions with which their minds have been much impressed; and therefore, we always look for the oldest opinions in any country, or any class of men, among the common people, and not among the learned.” I cannot quote at length the statement and illustration which Dr. Priestley gives of this maxim in application to the present subject.t
Another argument in proof, that about the time of Justin Martyr the unitarian doctrine was ancient and generally received, and the contrary doctrines novel, is derived by Dr. Priestley from the manner in which the latter were proposed, and from the manner in which they were received. The doctrines of the preexistence and divinity of Christ were proposed according to him with diffidence, and the air of an apology; as is exemplified in the quotation formerly given from Justin Martyr; and it was with great difficulty that the generality of Christians were reconciled to them, and generally to the doctrine of the trinity in any form.
66 It is evident,” he says, “ that the lower class of Christians was much staggered by it, and exceedingly offended when they did hear of it; which could never have been the case if it had then been supposed to have been the doctrine of the apostles, and to have been delivered by them as the most essential article of Christian faith, in which light it is now represented. Such terms as scandalizare, expavescere, &c. used by Tertullian, Novatian, &c. and Tagarouy, &c. by Origen, can only apply to the case of some novel and alarming doctrine, something that men had not been accustomed to. We
therefore take it for granted, that it had not been much heard of among the common people at least; and if so, that it had neyer been taught by the apostles.
• First Letters to Dr. Horsley, Appendix, sect. 8. Hist. of Earl. Opp. Conclusion, sect. 3.
† See Hist. of Earl. Opp. B. üi. c. 13. sect. 1.