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an article of faith,” which he calls or THREE distinct and separate holy very properly " their prime position.” ones.' “The oorsion itself,” he says, "might In pointing out “the absurdities have been spared, at least out of the that unavoidably follow the comparicreeds, had not a fraudulent abuse of son of-the vulgar doctrine of Satisgood words brought matters to that faction, being dependent upon the pass, that the Catholic faith was in second person of the Trinity," he even danger of being lost, even under Ca- describes “ Jesus Christ as a finite and tholic language."
impotent creature," without reference Such is the substance of T. P.'s to the unscriptural notion of two naquotation, of which he says, “ The tures, and his God and Father as point I aim at is this—to refer the “the infinite and omnipotent Creator." reader to the simple view of the full I am aware that some of their ap, and supreme divinity of the Father, proved authors have sometimes used the Son, and the Holy Ghost, ascribed mystical language on the subject, as by Dr. Waterland to the apostles and nearly approaching the present standthe primitive Christians; for preciselyard of reputed orthodoxy, as Sabelthe same view is taken of this high lians have long ago employed, but I doctrine by the Quakers in the present know of only one writer amongst day; a view, which is greatly con- them who has gone so far as T. P., firmed by their almost exclusive use and that is the author, whom I much of the Sacred Scriptures as the foun- esteem, of a work published in 1813, tain of their doctrines."
by Wm. Phillips, London, and entitled If T. P. has done the Quakers jus “Remarks suggested by the Perusal tice, I must say that on this point the of a “Portraiture of Primitive QuaUnitarians have greatly the advantage kerism, by William Penn ; with a of them, for the Scriptures are not Modern Sketch of Reputed Ortho
almost," but the sole foun- doxy,' &c., hy Thomas Prichard.” tain of their doctrines. Freely admit The Portraiture is reviewed in your ting T. P.'s right to profess his own journal for 1812 (VII. 523). The faith in any words he may choose for remarks on it have, I believe, not himself, or adopt from any writer, corne under your notice. The greater ancient or modern, I must demur to part of the pamphlet consists of a rehis competency to speak in such posi- publication of another tract of Penn's, tive terms of the faith of the Quakers, which was more to the Editor's taste even in the present day;" amongst than the Portraiture, the readers of whom, perhaps, I have had as large which he describes as “introduced an acquaintance as himself, and at to this amiable writer, only through least equal, if not better opportunities the medium of Unitarian quotation.” of knowing their sentiments, and how Whereas, it must be confessed, the very generally the most strict amongst other tract is rather strongly, tinctured them of every class, even when closely with Sabellianism, but with nothing pressed, refuse to admit in any sense like “ the common doctrine of the whatever, any distinction of persons in Trinity,” without which he considered the Deity. I have also read many of the Quakers as consigned
“ to the the writings of their best and most invidious condition of the bat in the approved authors, none of whom, so fable, neither bird nor beast, with all far as I know, ever professed to hold its pernicious consequences.'
Yet he that doctrine. William Penn said, tells his readers, that Penn's Sandy very truly, in bis Sandy Foundation Foundation Shaken, or the above PorShaken, for writing and publishing traiture, "professes to attack all that which, being a notable attack on is of mere human authority and inven
public opinion,” he was persecuted tion in the tenets that relate to the by his enemies, but applauded by his Trinity, imputed righteousness, and friends the Quakers, with remarkable the satisfaction and atonement made unanimity, that “ the Scriptures un- by Christ.” The author considered deniably prove that one is God, and the whole as founded on the sand, God only is that only ONE; there- and tells us he “ endeavoured a total fore he cannot be divided into or sub- enervation of those cardinal points, sist,” says he, “in an holy THREE, and chief doctrines so firmly believed,
and continually imposed for articles of scriptural revelation on this point of Christian faith.”
primary importance, and teaching, in T. P. concludes his letter to the its stead, for doctrine, the inventions Editor of the Christian Observer by of men. saying, “So strong is my desire to
THOMAS FOSTER. detach the Quakers from that identity with the Unitarians, under which some Sir, mistaken minds regard them, that I
HAVE several times endeavoured may perhaps feel rather gratified than to procure from the booksellers, hurt at any consequences that may Yates's “Sequel” to his “Vindicaresult from the general diffusion of tion of Unitarianism :" but the anthis knowledge, that their tenets are swer is uniformly the same-out of at an irreconcileable variance. T. P.” print. Now, Sir, as the theological The Editors, in a courteous P.S., say critic in the British Quarterly Review, "T. P. will find a letter in our Vol. with a meanness of dissimulation for 1819, p. 582, signed Samuel Fen- which, I suppose, he would excuse by nel, containing a similar complaint the convenient subterfuge of inherent against the Monthly Repository, and moral incapacity, has sunk upon his a defence of the Society of Friends readers the existence of this tract, from the charge of Socinianism.” although incidentally he betrays his
In this letter S. F. does, indeed, knowledge of it, and as the great repeat his totally groundless charge advocate of tritheism and vicarious against you. _[XIV. 400.] As to his righteousness himself, Dr. Wardlaw defence of Friends, he has indeed continues with unabashed ostentation shewn, that the Quakers had not to re-advertise in the Newspapers his wholly discarded the term Trinity. “ Unitarianism incapable of VindicaDirectly after his quotation, abruptly tion," may I ask why the Sequel" ending with an &c.," Penn adds, is not reprinted? If the able author "But they are very tender of quit- himself be unwilling to risk the exting Scripture terms and phrases for pense, (though I should have thought Schoolmen's, such as distinct and the sale of the first edition a guarantee separate persons, and subsistences, &c. for the success of the undertaking,) are, from whence people are apt to why is not this tract, which so calmly entertain gross ideas and notions of and rationally exposes the hollow blusthe Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” tering pretensions of the orthodox
I would willingly remove T. P.'s school, reprinted and liberally re-adpainful but groundless apprehension, vertised at the expense of the society? that it is a favourite design with the Let me take this opportunity of Unitarians to identify “their tenets” suggesting also the expediency of rewith those of the Quakers, farther printing in a separate tract, and at a than they actually approximate. They cheap rate, the excellent and learned can have no motive to do this. He Dr. Lardner's “ Posthumous Disdoes not seem to be aware, that from courses on the Trinity," which appear the time of Sabellius, those who “say to state the respective grounds of the nothing of three hypostases (or per- Trinitarian, Arian and Unitarian docsons] but keep to one,” in expressing trine, with a plainness, comprehentheir belief in God, have always licension and acumen, calculated to make considered by the reputedly orthodox, a strong, popular impression, and, at as nearly allied to the Unitarians, not the same time, to remove much of withstanding their occasional use, like the prejudice existing against the simthe Quakers, of obscure, ambiguous plicity of the ancient faith in minds or semi-orthodox language.
pre-occupied by college theology; and He has, I own, completely absolved to awaken serious doubts whether himself from the imputation, but be “the things which they have learned” fore he again asserts “ that the Qua- be in reality “sound doctrine." This kers have precisely the same view of little publication is further needed as this high doctrine" as himself, I recom- a set-off against the affectedly imparmend him to make farther inquiry, tial, but really dogmatic and bigoterl, lest he should mistakenly represent not to say insidious, statement of them as forsaking generally or col- Dean Tucker; entitled a “ Brief and lectively, the authentic testimony of Dispassionate' View of the Difficultics
attending the Trinitarian, Arian and deep silence which reigns through the Socinian Systems,” to which it forms writings of the former, upon the name no less striking a contrast in force, and history of Jesus the Christ, nor than in fairness of reasoning.
would the alleged Heathen converts PROSELYTUS. have avoided the being distinguished
as disciples of Jesus, or Christians, Sir,
Feb. 15, 1822. It is, indeed, not improbable that the N the last Volume of the Reposi- appellative Christian was first applied learned correspondent, Dr. Jones, ani- ponents; and that, according to a premadverts upon my having said that valent association of idea with Latin “the New Testament disciples of adjectives in anus denoting party, the Jesus were not ashained or afraid to new terin might have a discreditable own ‘that worthy name by which they appearance. But it is worthy of obwere called."" He conceives me servation, that this term was invented chargeable with “a total inattention and brought into use with reference to the fact.” He has not made it evi- to the first Gentile church, and at the dent what “fact” he adverts to; but time when the right of Gentiles to the we cannot be mistaken if we under- blessings and privileges of the gospel, stand him as referring to one, or more without being subjected to circumciprobably to both, of the statements sion or any other Judaical observance, which immediately follow : “ that all was established by apostolical authothe Jewish converts considered Chris- rity. Thus there was, primâ facie, tianity and Judaism as the self-same some reason why converts from Heareligion ;” and “ that the name Chris. thenism to the religion of Jesus should tians was given the disciples by their have been the more eininently called enemies as a term of reproach : and Christians. If the name had an unthat, for this reason, the apostles and friendly origin, it would soon, acthe converts inade by them declined cording to the common principles of the use of it.”
human nature, cease to convey an unNeither of these assertions can I welcome association, and would be regard as " beyond controversy ;” and accepted and gloried in as a badge of I do seriously think that strong objec honour. About eighteen years after, tions lie against them both. Nor do we find the apostle Peter writing I perceive that Dr. Jones has replied thus : “If any one of you suffer as a to the remarks which I proposed upou Christian, let him not be ashamed, his sentiment, (I comply with his wish but let him glorify God on this bein not calling it hypothesis,) that Philo half.” | Peter iv. 16. and Josephus were Christians. (Script. It can scarcely be necessary for me Test. I. 449, 450.) Till those remarks to add, that the argument is not nulare distinctly met, I do not feel myself lified by the passage which has been called upon to embark anew in the sometimes called the testimony of dispute. My only object at present Josephus to Christ ; for it appears to ! is to say, that Dr. Jones has inisap- me very satisfactorily shewn by Lardprehended the point of my reference. ner and others, that the passage is Perhaps I did not express myself with spurious. due explicitness : but the citation of
March 9. Jaines ii. 7, I had supposed would
Unavoidable hindrances prevented have prevented any misconception. my finishing this letter in time for the By the “worthy name” I did not last month. I proceed to Dr. Jones's mean exclusively the appellation Chris- critical and doctrinal remarks on Phil. tian, as my respected friend takes it ; ii. 6—8, in pp. 535, &c. of your last but the name Jesus, or the official volume. designation Christ, as well as the term (1.) He asserts that ισα Θεo is a Christian: and to that name or desig- parallelism with ev mopping sov, and is nation the allusion was principally in- but a varied expression of the same tended. My argument was, that had idea.” This appears to me to be imPhilo and Josephus, and the persons puting to the apostle an absolute tau. whom they speak of as having em- tology. If the two terms are synonybraced Judaism, been really Chris- mous, each of them may be put = as tiuns, there would not have been the then the apostle will be made to say,
"Being a, he deeined it not a thing to pressed by the phrase, “ The characbe grasped at to be a."
of God.” (2.) On the meaning in eq, it would (5.) Of a passage of Josephus, adbe unreasonable to ask you to reprint duced as an instance of this analogical the reasons and the authorities from sense of poper, my respected friend Greek writers, especially the Septua- affirms, “This is said in reference to gint, which are adduced in the Script. the Greeks, who represented their Test. (II. 385–402, 414, 415) to sup- gods under material images ; and the port the interpretation of the phrase object of the writer is to set aside that which the evidence of the case appears superstitious practice. His words are to me to warrant. Those who are to this effect : 'God is not in the suficiently interested in the question least visible in form; it is, therefore, to take the trouble of the examination, most absurd to represent him under will, perhaps, do me the favour tó forms that are visible.” weigh my arguments before they reject The passage in question is a part of my interpretation.
a long and interesting recital, in the (3.) To Dr. J.'s mode of supplying style of just panegyric, of the religion, the ellipsis which he supposes the laws and manners of the Jews. “The passage to require, I feel no objec- paragraph from which a small part tion: nor does it militate against the only, for the sake of brevity, was cited doctrine of the Deity of Christ, except in the Script.Test., is as follows: “God, upon the assumption of what we most the all-perfect and blessed, possesses earnestly protest against, that, in hold- all things, himself sufficient to himself ing that doctrine, we suppose that the and to all other beings, the beginning death of Jesus was the death of Jeho- and the midst, and the end of all. He, vah. That doctrine attributes to the though displayed by his works and his Lord and Redeemer of mankind, not kindnesses, and more manifest than only The Divine NATURE with all any other being whatever, yet, as to its essential perfections, but also the his nature (literally form) and greathuman nature with all its proper ness, is the most remote from our qualities.
view. All material substance, even (4.) I must likewise protest against the most valuable, compared to his Dr. J.'s seeming to impute to me the image, is worthless : and all art is opinion “that God has any form, or incompetent to the conception of an that form and nature have here the imitation. We can neither conceive, same meaning." To which assump- nor is it lawful to imagine, any thing tion he adds, “In this confusion, as a resemblance to him. We see his gross and palpable as it is, is founded works ; the light, the heaven, the earth, the interpretation put upon this pas- the sun and moon, the waters, the sage by the orthodox divines.” What generations of animals, and the proI had said concerning the use of poppm ductions of vegetation. These hath in this passage was to this purport: God made, not with hands, not with that the word “ can be understood of labours, not needing any assistants ; the Divine Being only in the way of but, by the mere act of his will deteran imperfect analogy. As the visi- mining these good things, they in, ble and tangible figure of a sensible stantly came into existence, good object is, in ordinary cases, the chief according to his design. Him we all property, and frequently the only one, ought to follow, and serve by the by which we know the object and dis- practice of virtue; for this is the holitinguish it from others ; so, that part est manner of serving God.”. The of what may be known of God, (Rom. reader will judge, whether it is the į 19,) that which distinguishes him more probable that Josephus here from all other objects of our mental uses noppen in the sense of those who apprehension, may thus, allusively formed corporal ideas of the Supreme and analogically, be called the form Being, or to denote the characteristic of God. Therefore, dropping the and spiritual properties (the metaphyfigure, the notion is evidently that of sical form) of that Infinite Nature, specific difference, or essential and Other and not contemptible evidence distinguishing properties. It might, for this sense, may be seen in Elsner, ' I conceive, be unexceptionably ex- (Obs.in N. T. II. 241,) and it is up
questionable that the Greek fathers, no hesitation in regarding the expreswho were likely to understand their sion as an allusion to the transfiguranative language, took roppan, as here tion of Jesus, on the mountain, where used by the apostle, to signify puois " he assumed an appearance bright as and ουσία. .
“As the form of a ser- the sun, and was seen to converse with vant,” says Chrysostom," signifies no Moses and Elias ;” and that, from this other than real and perfect man, so magnificent appearance, Peter eagerly the
form of God signifies no other than conceived the hope of Christ's evadGod.” See Suiceri Thesaur. II. 377, ing his predicted sufferings and death. 378. I there be any propriety in ex. The Doctor has depieted the scene plaining the phraseology of the New with great ingenuity and pathos. On Testament by the use of terms among the opinion, I beg leave to remark: the followers of Aristotle, “it is un 1. That the allusion supposed rests questionable," says the learned and only upon conjectural grounds. pious Sir Richard Ellys, (Fortuita 2. That, had it been intended by Suerú, p. 189,)“ that with them popoon Paul, it is reasonable to think that he was used to signify to ewai Tivos, that would have made his allusion more which constitutes the essence of a sub- definite, as Peter did in referring to ject. venture, therefore, still to the very transaction : 2 Pet. ii 18. think that Schleusner, in giving this 3. That the tense of nagyon does interpretation, had a little more reason not well agree with the supposition of on his side than that "he might as referenee to a single past fact, while well have said that white may mean it properly comports with the idea of Nack.”
a state or habit. Had the former been “The form of a slave,” says my the object of reference, the proper learned friend,“ means the death of form of the participle would have been a stave." That the apostle, in using itapças. the expression form of a servant or 4. That, if the allusion were admitstave, had no reference at all to “the ted, a believer in the proper Deity of death of the cross" which he so soon the Saviour might reasonably contend after mentions, 1 by no means affirm : that the “ form of God” most natubut that this was the single circum- rally and justly expresses some manistanee comprised in the allusjon, does festation, by the symbol of a visible not appear probable. The frequent brightness exceeding that of the most use of oudos in the New Testament, in magnificent objects in nature, and provarious moral significations, suggests bably similar to the representations a more extensive application of the made to Moses and others of the proideas of servitude to the circumstances phets, of that Divine Nature and Perof the Lord Jesus. See John xiii. 16, fection which he believes, on other XV. 20, and the numerous passages in and independent grounds, that the which the apostles and Christians in Scriptures ascribe to Christ. general are called servants of God, or (6.) Dr. Jones, whose soul is filled of Christ; while, on the other hand, with the enthusiasm imbibed from his wicked men are represented as the familiarity with Grecian poetry and servants or slaves of sin. In the whole eloquence, declares his "unspeakable view of the case, there appears to me pleasure" in disclosing to the world most evidenice that our Lord's take his discovery that this passage of the ing the form of a servant” denotes his Epistle to the Philippians contains submission, in his assumed human allusions to Aristotle's Hymn to Vir nature, to "the characteristics of that tue. I must, however, confess that servitude and dishonour which sin has my duller powers of perception cannot inflicted upon our nature, and upon see clearly the evidence of this discoall our circumstances in the present very. The resemblances appear to state ; that which is called in Scrip- me to be faint and precarious. Intare ( Covela tus poopoos) 'the bond- deed, if I am not mistaken, much age, servitude, or slavery of corrup- closer coincidences of both thought tion."". (Script. T'est. II. 410.) and expression often occur to men of : Dr. Jones is equally confident that reading, in authors of widely different
a form of God can only mean a ages and nations, and of whom it is divine or splendid form :" and he has certain that neither could have received