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30. And when one sees in a young man's first essays the dry correctness of age, one can hardly predict favourably of its duration. But I will not scruple to tell you, that, in your early productions there is a certain redundance - and luxuriancy, which shews a native vigour not soon or easily exhausted. There are some plants so tender as not to bear the shears though they wanted them; and others so flourishing and hardy as to need nothing else to make them long useful and ornamental to every soil they are placed in. I dont think myselfe at all capable of directe ing you how to turn your gifts of nature to best advantage: but, in my opinion, QUINTILIAN, well read and digested, is the very best book, ancient or modern, to perfect a writer in every part of composition.
What your friend says of the Commentator on the Alliance (who I think is the greatest dunce as well as madman I ever saw) may be true. For the defenders and supporters of truth, whether natural or revealed, lye under a great disadvantage. The very shallowness of the cavils and sophistry of its enemys makes them obvious and striking to vulgar eyes; and the detection of their false pretences requires thinking, as well in the reader as the writer; because they are detected on the principles of truth, which lye much out of sight. It is a melancholy thing that
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow,
But if I do it for my own satisfaction, I shall do it for my
W. WARBURTON. P. P. September 18, 1748.
Vol. IX. Churchm. Mag. Sept. 1805.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN's
MAGAZINE GENTLEMEN, .. M R. PEARSON's observations on the Athanasian
creed have induced me to offer to you the following remarks on the doctrines and sanctions therein contained. One of its chief doctrines, and the one most difficult to be understood is that of the equality of the three persons in the Godhead.
This equality, be it observed, is here proved from, and inade commensurate with, the unity of the Godhead, and does not extend to the personal distinctions. See the 6th clause of the creed.
By consequence therefore, He that denieth the equality of the persons in the Godhead denieth their unity, and musi either give up the divinity of the Son and Holy Ghost, or be guilty of tritheism. *. Secondly, This creed does not assert the equality of the divine persons in respect to their Trinity, as Dr. Waterland in his history of the creed has proved. He admits that there is an inequality of order, and office in the three divine persons; and he night bave said that in all of the personal distinctions there is an inequality; and that, as The equality is proved from and is commensurate with the unity, so an irregularity may be proved from and shewn to be commensurate with thie trinity.
Thus there may be in the tripily Primus inter Pares, by which supposition the scriptures may be best reconciled to themselves, and the seemingly contradictory opinions of commentators shewn to be more consistent than has bitherto been done. See Pearson on the divinity of the Son in his Exposition of the Apostle's Creed.
Respecting the sanctions contained in the Athanasian creed, If it be adınitted that the doctrine of the creed is that of scripture, the question respecting their fitness will resolve itself into this one inquiry, Whether scripture hath or hath not declared that they who add to, or dinivish from its doctrines will perish everlastingly. If such a declaration be contained in scripture, (as I think that it is in the following passages---Matt. v. 19, 20;, Mark xvi. 10; John ji. 18; Rev. xxii. 18, 19;) we must, at our peril, deliver it whole and undefiled. At the same time
We may declare that there is an unavoidable generality in all laws, and that the circumstances of every particular offence will be taken into consideration at the last day.
Instead, therefore, of inaking any alterations in this excellent creed, I would recommend it to the serious consideration of the clergy annually to explain what may appear obscure or uncharitable in it, to their congrega. tions, and not themselves to be carried away by the stream of false liberality, which is often but the cloke of that indolence which does not love the close investigation of truth. See Horbery's sermon on the Athanasian creed.
It would likewise be expedient to republish the excel. lent commentaries on the creed, which are now become extremely scarce, as that of Dr. Waterland and Dr. Thomas Clarkė. As a popular treatise, Mr. Horbery's sermon is excellent.
I shall conclude my protestation against any change in ''this creed with a passage from Hooker's Ecclesiastical
Polity, book v. § 42. ." It was thought in St. Basil) an unpardonable offence to alter any thing; in ug as intolerable that we suffer any thing to remain unaltered. The very creed of Athanasius, and that sacred hymn of glory, than which nothing doth sound more heavenly in the ears of faithful men, are now reckoned as superfluities, which we must in any case pare away, lest we clog God · with too much service. Is there in that confession of faith any thing which doth not at all times edify and instruct the attentive hearer? Or is our truth in the blessed · Trinity a matter needless to be so oftentimes mentioned · and opened in the principal part of that duty which we
owe to God, oor public prayer?"
JUVENIS. 00% EXTRACTS. EXTRACTS.
Dr. Cäristopher POTTER, Dean of
MOOD Mr. V i and my honest friend, I shall
J answer your late loving and vehement letter, which I received but yesterday, with no less, love, but with less vehemency; only, before I begin let me entreat, that though we be two in opinion, yet we may be still one in amity, wherein for my part, I am resolved to persist with an invincible coustancy, and if you become mine enemy, because I tell you the truth, vet I will be still to you the same, your most affectionate entire friend.
I like and love the heat of your zeal, only I desire in it a little more mixture of cooling charity, I verily believe your zeal to be true, but you shall give me leave to tell you that in very many, that which is so called, is indeed but an angry unmerciful passion; and that I may speak plainly and name things as they are, Scapham, Scapham, a pure pang mixt of pride and ignorance. It appears by the whole tenor of your letter, that you are affected with a strong suspicion that I am turned Arminian, and you further guess at the motive that some sprinkling of courtholy-water, like an exorcism, hath enchanted and conjured me into this new shape. How loath am I to understand your meaning: And how fain would I put a fair interpretation upon these foul passages, if they were capable! What man! Not an Arminian only, but hired into that faith by carnal hopes? One that can "value his soul at so poor a rate, as to sell it to the times, or weigh or sway his conscience with money? My good friend, how did you tlius forget me and yourself; and the strict charge of our master, judge not? Well, you have my pardon, and God Almighty confirın it unto you with his. But to prevent, your error and sin in this kind hereafter, I desire you to believe that I neither ai, nor ever will be Arminian; I am resolved to stand fast in that liberty, which my Lord hath so dearly bought for ine. In divine truths my conscience cannot serve men, or any other inaster besides him who bath the chair in heaven, I love
Calvin very well, and I must tell you I cannot hate Arminius; and for my part, I am verily persuaded that these two are now where they agree well, in the kingdom of heaven; whilst some of their passionate disciples are so eagerly brawling here on earth. I should honour truth if I heard it out of the Pope's mouth, or the devil's; nor can I believe a falsity, though published by an angel. I prize my soul so dearly, that I dare not venture it upon any man's credit, or take upon trust any opinion which may endanger it; nor can the worth of all this world persuade me in matters of faith, to maintain or believe any conclusion, which I find not to issue from premises of scripture or reason; but most especially I tremble to think or speak any thing of God Almighty, which hath not express warrant in his word, and so much the more if it seem injurious or dishonourable to that most glorious and gracious Deity, For my life I cannot obtain of my conscience to declaim, and revile, and cry down an opinion, when I cannot see any solid satisfying answer to many contrary scriptures and
It is a very easy way which many walk, and if it were as safe, I would be content to walk it with them; blind-folded they follow their leaders, and sparing their own eyes, they presume their-guides, so learned, so holy; see clearly enough. Therefore they believe all their dictates, as if they were divinely inspired, and spake oracles, without examining, which eases them of much trouble and difficulty in sifting and judging. For my part I ever thought it a thing unworthy of a christian, and yet more of a minister, and full of danger to invassal his understanding to any man, or any men, or to embrace and espouse opinions in religion, without judgment, out of phantasy and prejudice, because they are recommended by some great names, which we have in admiration. But because you are my friend, I will yet farther reveal myself unto you, I have laboured long
and diligently in these controversies, and I will tell you with what mind and method, and with what success.
For some years in my youth, when I was most ignoranty I was most confident, before I knew the true state, or any grounds of those questions, I could peremptorily resolve them all. And upon every occasion in the very pulpit, I was girding and railing upon these new heretics, the Arminians, and I could not find words enough to decipher the folly and absurdity of their doctrine;