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dark complexity; or, to give back to the Athanasians a word which they have Aung at Unitarians, an “ Artifice.” Their unity resembles the harmony produced by an old monk's treble note, my nurse's lullaby, and my grandmother's recitative; ours is the voice of nature from her thousand and ten thousand realms, blended with the halleluiahs of Revelation, and ascending in one mighty volume of sound to the throne of the Eternal.
The title of Unitarian Christian, therefore, is one to which we have the first and most indisputable claim We hope to see it more extensively embraced, and that those who have received the name of Arians or Socinians, will lay aside such appellations, and assume that of Unitarians, or Bible Christians; and not circumscribe themselves within a circle drawn by any uninspired mortal whatever, since one is our master, even Christ. Let us stand on a space so broad, that it will include all who believe in the strict unity of Jehovah, and in his only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
When the Author referred to Priestley, he might have known that he was giving an occasion to the orthodox, for repeating the illiberal reflections with which they still continue to assail that great and injured name. Priestley may have fallen into errors, (who has not ?) by trusting more to the fidelity of others, than to his own patient investigation. He was in none as to the fact for which he was quoted. When he did err, his error was that of an HONEST MAN. A mitre would not have tempted him to deviate a hair's breadth from what he regarded as the strict line of truth. With him there was no shuffling nor tampering, nor special pleading against the dictates of his own conscience. He entered the field of controversy, not as a prize-fighter, determined to overcome his antagonist whether by force or guile. He fought not in “a coat.of darkness," with the poisoned weapons of insinuation and personality. The arrows of malevolence were never lodged in his quiver. He disdained to assail the character of his antagonist, when he should be combating his argument; and he would have scorned the victory that was not fairly won, for he was an honest man.*
“ Let Dr. Priestley be confuted where he is mistaken; let him be exposed where he is superficial ; let him be repressed where he is dogmatical ; let him be rebuked where he is censorions; but let not his attainments be depreciated, because they are numerous almost without a parallel ;-let not his talents be ridiculed, because they are superlatively great; let not his morals be vilified, because they are correct without austerity, and exemplary without ostentation.”-Dr. Parr.
“ From him," says the Rev. Robert Hall, “ the poisoned arrow will fall pointless." Will it not sometimes recoil, and wound the hand from which it Aew ?
In Hutton's Phil. and Math. Dictionary, 2nd Ed. is inserted, “ The following faithful portrait of a man, whose character has been grossly misrepresented by interested enemies, and misconceived by a deluded public.
The “ Christian Examiner," who has declared Priestley to be of no authority in Ecclesiastical History, joins with an “ Éclectic Reviewer" in lauding Bishop Bull, as affording unanswerable proofs against Lindsey, Belsham, and all who affirm with Priestley, that the majority of Christians were Unitarians, prior to the Council of Nice. Has either of the learned gentlemen, who speak thus confidently of Bull, as their champion, ever read his works ? If he has, he will meet some quotations, in the following Essay, which he will recognize to be genuine; and which will shew that those who have his works before them, need not travel far for a confirmation of the opinion expressed by Priestley.*
He was a patient, indefatigable disputant in theology, a sincere and zealous
Cliristian, a serious and rational preacher of the practical morality of re-
character to the impartial. judgment of posterity.”
“At ultimį nepotes,
Et cordatior ætas,
Si quid meremur, sảna posteritas ściet."
Crescit, occulto velut arbor ævo,
Fama Priestlæi. Those who read Bull, ought also to read “ Ante-Nicenismus, sive Tes. timonia Patrum qui scripserunt ante Concilium Nicenum, &c. Cosmopoli, Anno 1694.” Disquisitiones Modestæ in Clarissimi Bulli Defensionem Fidei Nicenæ. . Authore Daniele Whitby, D.D. Lond. 1718. and Wakefield's Enquiry into opinions concerning the person of Christ.
No wiiter is more easily refuted than Bull. He refutes and contradicts himself; a common practice with the disciples of Athanasius. The views of Ball are justly characterised in the following extracts from a valuable work on the divinity of Christ, by Robert Perceval, M. D.' a physician of Dublin, of great learning, and piety, and of long-established and well-merited professional celebrity.
“ However successful Bull's efforts may be considered, in clearing the Pathers of the three first centuries of the charge of Arianism, (in the sense of a doctrine, which teaches the created nature and limited existence of Clirist,) yet he himself continually represents, as their undoubted and undnimous sentiment, that self-existence' belongs to God the Father exclusively, and subscribes to their opinion.". This is made evident by extracts from his works too long for present quotation See the Summary of Cap: 1, Sect. iv. p.251. Def. Fid. Nic. De subordinatione filii ad Patrem, ut ad sui origineni et princi. pfium.-See Thesis II. p. 258.
Though the Author has had the misfortune to offend some readers, by the plain Scriptural truths expressed in this Essay, he has the satisfaction of knowing, that he has pleased others, whose judgment he values, and of whose esteem he is proud; and he hopes to see their numbers greatly increased. The film, which long obstructed the mental vision of many, is now beginning to dissolve away, and a few more rays emitted from the Word of God, will dispel their darkness, and enable them to see Unitarian Christianity in all its beauty and in all its loveliness. Then will they begin to have a true perception of the superexcellence of that religion which came from heaven to be our guide to happiness and salvation. Let the friends of Unitarian, or Bible Christianity, unite, co-operate, and act with energy and zeal; and their cause, being the cause of REASON AND COMMON SENSE, of NATURE AND REVELATION, of the Saviour and of God, must eventually triumph.
Some readers - may be disposed to ask, why the Author has been so long in reviewing Mr. Carlile's Book, on what is called "The Deity of Christ.” More, perhaps, will inquire, why it has been thought worth while to notice it at all." The fact is, when it first came before the public, a friend who-read it, informed the Author, that it gave up the chief point at issue, and admitted that the doctrine of the Trinity is a doctrine of inference, and not of explicit revelation. Satisfied with this admission, the Author suffered two years to elapse before he sat down to its perusal; when being about to prepare a new edition of his Essay, he thought it a fit occasion to examine Mr. C.'s doctrines, and to animadvert on such of them as he should deem erroneous. Though there be little good in disturbing the ashes of the dead, as the principles of Mr. C.'s Book are still advocated, the Author thought it a duty which he owed to the cause of truth, to protest against them, as being, in his judgment, a reproach to the age, and in direct hostility to the plainest declarations, both of reason and revelation.
“ To do justice to the nicety of our author's distinctions, stated in Thesis II, requires much metaphysical acuteness ; a common understanding would conceive, that' self-existence and supreme autliority, compared with a derived existence and Deity, are essential perfections. Pearson (p. 34,) asserts, that the Father has communicated his entire essence to the Son: now, if to be únoriginated, which Pearson most explicitly'almits, be part of the essence of the Father, and of him exclusively, how can he be said to communicate bis entire essence to a divine being, whose origination is admitted ?"
“ Bull seems substantially to grant all that can be desired, and the point at issue appears to be a logical, and not a theological distinction ; yet that is of more importance than might be imagined, for once grant the metaphysical use of the to ouoouoloy, and it is employed as a charm to raise such a cloud of unscriptural intricacies, as quite obscures the region of common sense, andi intercepts all prospects of a termination of the controversy.'
SECTION IX.- No Proof in Scripture, that Christ is eternal
Section X.--No Proof in Scripture, that Christ possessed
the Divine Attribute of Omnipresence or Om-
SECTION XI.--Christ not the Creator of the Universe-not
SECTION XII.—No Proof in Scripture, that Christ was wor-
shipped as the Supreme God,
SECTION XIII.-The Trinity, a Human Invention-a Mystery,
and therefore no subject of Christian Belief, 94
Section XIV.-General Reasons for Rejecting the Doctrine of
Section XV.-The Superior Excellence, and Cheering Pros-
pects of Unitarianism,
Review of the Rev. James Carlile's Book, entitled, “ Jesus
Christ, the Great God our Saviour,"
DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
FOUNDED ON SCRIPTURE.
Origin of the present Controversy_Unitarian Christian's
Belief-Proofs from Scripture of the Divine Unity, A CONTROVERSY, attractive of much public attention has for some time been carried on between the Rev. Mr. Maguire and the Rev. Mr. Pope; the former an able advocate of the Roman Catholic Church, the latter an eloquent supporter of some of the tenets of the Church established by law, in this country.
In the course of the controversy, Mr. Maguire has affirmed that there are certain doctrines of religion embraced by a considerable number of the Protestant denomination, which cannot be successfully maintained without the aid and authority of an Infallible Church. He grounds his opinion on the doctrine of the Trinity, and challenges Mr. Pope to prove against the Socinian, that that doctrine rests on a Scriptural foundation. “The Socinian's objections,” he says, are solid and stubborn. He has REASON and comMON SENSE on his side. He will quote text against text, enjoying, as he does, the latitude of private judgment, till not a single shred of argument remains.”
In these sentiments of Mr. Maguire, Unitarians (which name is here preferred to that of Socinians, for reasons to be afterwards shewn) most cordially concur. They have long felt that they have reason and common sense, as well as Scripture on
their side ; and they rejoice that this is acknowledged by a gentleman of Mr. Maguire's studies and profession. They duly appreciate hiş admissions as a valuable offering at the shrine of truth: and they pay no empty compliment to Mr. Maguire's polemic skill, when they allege that he has entrenched bimself in a position from which it will require a more powerful tactician than even Mr. Pope to dislodge him. If the doctrine of the Trinity has