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CORRESPONDENCE

ON THE

TRINITARIAN AND UNIT ARIAN CONTROVERSY

LIVERPOOL

To all who call themselves Unitarians in the town and neighbourhood of

Liverpool.

"And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, PERSUADING THEM CONCERNING JESUS, both out of the law of Moses and out of the Prophets, from morning till evening.”— Acts xxviii, 23.

Men and Brethren,-I am aware that the term “ Religious Controversy,” is a phrase peculiarly revolting to many minds; that it presents to them nothing in its aspect but that which has been sarcastically called the “ Acetum Theologicum," a something bitter and distasteful, of more than common offensiveness and asperity. It is for this reason that, in proposing a course of lectures on the subjects in controversy between we Church of England and those who call themselves UNITARIANS, and

"o: Dy that very term, seem to impute to the great majority of proIessing Christians, of almost all denominations, a polytheist..

questing your attendance on these lectures, and inviting your mo

emn attention to those subjects, I wish, antecedently, to remove

and in requesting your attendance on

ON THE TRINITARIAN

THE TRINITARIAN

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from myself every suspicion of unkindness towards you, and to take away any supposition of unchristian asperity in my feelings, or of a uce sire to inflict upon the humblest individual amongst you unnecessary pan. That no mere political difference of opinion, much less that any appre. hension of danger to the Established Church, have originated this move. ment, will be sufficiently evident from the fact, that while we are surrounded by many other classes of dissenters, equally opposed to the principle of our establishment, and much more likely to draw away the members of our flocks to their communion. I and my reverend brethren, who are associated with me, on the present occasion, have limited ourselves exclusively to an inquiry into, and an endeavour to expose, the false philosophy and dangerous unsoundness of the UNITARIAN SYSTEM.

Now, what is the cause of this distinction? It is simply this, that while we believe the other dissenting bodies to have arranged an ecclesiastical system, in our judgment not clearly Scriptural, and deficient in those particulars which constitute the perfection, though they may not affect the essence of a church, we do at the same time acknowledge that they generally hold, as articles of faith, those great fundamental Gospel truths which are the substance of the safety of souls ; truths which, while so held, give them a part in that gracious covenant in Christ, within which God has revealed a way of salvation for all and out of which he has not revealed a way of mercy to any. These fundamental truths are the very doctrines which are controverted between us and those whom we call in courtesy, but not as of right. UNITARIANS : viz., the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the atoning sacrifice, the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, the fall of our nature, and the gracious renovation of the buman soul, through his supernatural operation. Assured as I am that these truths (which, without a desperate mutilation, or an awful tampero ing with the plain language of the Word of God, it seems impossible to exclude from that divine record) are of the essence of our souls sale! ask you, men and brethren. I put it to your consciences, is it not on nature of the tenderest charity, of the purest love, of the tionate sympathy with those in the extreme of peril, and that an e nd. peril, to supplicate to these doctrines the attention of such as have a yet received them, to pray them to come and “..se Scriptures, whether these things be so ?”-Acts XVll,! unwittingly, totters blindfold on the edge of a. precipic

indfold on the edge of a precipice, deem it a rude or an uncharitable violence which would snatch him w ven

nd, or even it may be with a painful grasp, from the fearful ruin over which he impends ? Is it not to your

ne impends ? Is it not to your own judgment a strong antecedent ground of presumption, that you are als

d of presumption, that you are alarmingly and perilously

this matter, when you see such numbers of highly-gifted and intellectual men, men of study of general informe holy men, men who “ Count not their lives dear u

who “ Count not their lives dear unto them,” so that they may honour God and preach this gospel, ar

God and preach this gospel, and that not in one particular place, but over the whole surface of the chi these truths, which you reject, as the essential to

the whole surface of the church ; who yet account built, you will remember, in their minds, not ont

"reject, as the essential truths of salvation; truths rity of men, but on the lively oracles of God ?

ver, in their minds, not on the traditions or autho

nie mouched, ti, o

de pri so raich the fe

the test and a pleasant to

and ta paber into the se pretager of the great the line to us when

God, lid take up! wa hatian a a man, at stehen, eran the death of a ce isten dins reverend bra

woning of Tuesday, the 5t sau de crimencement of the Stan behare God, and earne salar, on the work in wa into the land to exhibit and prese

"contending for the fal eller endeavours to be inst: operace to have been blinders

of the glorious gone i on ta shine into them." -20 a sa nad brethren, humble and sta no these things, I commedia

te brand and Father of our Lord e un setant in the gospel, for the

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