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address, it is purely out of regard to “ I not only examined the Scripthe interest of Christ and the gospel; ture, but read authors on both sides and the great value and affection Í the question; had Mr. Emlyn's tracts have for you, and therefore hope you put into my hands, and those of will pardon my freedom.
other Unitarians; had frequent con“I hear with concern from persons ferences with some of them that were of undoubted credit, that you are most strenuous for their opinions, wavering, if not quite gone off from and very zealous and industrious to some of the peculiar and important propagate them. I consulted several doctrines of Christianity, particularly divines, among others Mr. (afterthe proper Deity of Christ and his wards Dr.) Calamy, of London, and equality with the Father. I say, the Rev. Mr. Parkhurst f in the wavering, for I still hope that you are neighbourhood, an eminently pious not so far gone as to be irreclaimable, divine of the Church of England, or unwilling of a reconsideration. with whom I had a great intimacy,
“When I first entered upon the who, when I argued in their favour ministry, my lot was providentially the plausible profession they inade of cast among this people, with wbom religion, replied (he being acquainted I have now continued above fifty with them) that what good was in years. I found some among those them they received before they imwho attended at our meeting who bibed those notions, which in themdenied the doctrines of the Trinity selves, he said, had no tendency that and the Deity of Christ. Their senti- way, ments they imbibed from an ejected • The result of my inquiry was a minister* in the neighbourhood, a confirmation of my faith in the foreprofessed Socinian, and a gentleman mentioned doctrines (for which I of considerable parts, learning and hope I shall eternally bless God); and sobriety, under whose care and in- it pleased God to make my ministry structions they had been for some instrumental to bring off some from years, but he had then wholly laid the Socinian scheme, who joined aside the ministry, being deprived in with our church, and declared “they a great measure of his hearing, which never had any peace and comfort iu I suppose was the occasion of some their former sentiments." Others of them attending at our place of indeed there were that retained their worship.
notions to their dying day, but it “Coming immediately from the pleased God they'died with them, and academy, and not having studied the spread no further. controversy, I was so greatly dis- “ I have given you this long narracouraged on that account, and the tive, Sir, to acquaint you among shattered condition I found the church other things) how my faith was and congregation in, that I soon de. shaken, as I suppose, yours may be, termined to return to my native that I may offer to your serious concountry; but being over-persuaded to sideration a few things that were of make trial for a time, I at last settled use to me, and which I hope, with among them, and with great soli- the blessing of God, may be of some citude and seriousness set myself as- service to you in setthing you in siduously and impartially to inquire that, which I apprehend to be the into and study the controversy, not truth. without importunate prayer to God that “Though the doctrine of the Trinity he would lead me into the kuowledge is so nearly connected with the proper of the truth as it is in Jesus, by his Deity of Christ, that one cannot be spirit, without whose gracious in- believed without believing the other, fluences I knew all my endeavours yet I shall, in what I have to offer, would nothing avail.
confine myself to the latter."
“ N. B. I know the Unitarians (as * Mr. C. mentions not the name of Manning, but he doubtless referred to him. Mr. M lived in the neighbourhood of
+ Of Yoxford. At my first coming to Walpole, and was contemporary with Mr. Framlingham, he was spoken of in terms c. at least seven or eight years, Mr. C. of high commendation by some of my being there prior to August, 1704, and aged friends, and some single sermons Mr. M. dying in February, 1711.
printed by hiin were put into my hands.
thev call themselves) have prudently the Trinity to be true, and expressed quiited the Socinian scheme and eni-, in the most clear, plain and intellibraced the Arian, as much more gible terms imaginable, yet it is not plausible and defensible, but there is possible we should have clear and no essential ditference between them, distinct ideas of it for want of facul. both denying Christ's divine nature, ties equal to the object. and acknowledging bim to be no “ 2. I thought it highly unreason. more than a made or created God able to reject a doctrine (for which the Arians holding him to be an there is so much evidence) on account older—the Socinians a younger God, of insuperable difficulties attending it, having no existence before he was specially when those very difficulties born of the Virgin."
naturally and unavoidably arise from I think it probable that there were the sublimity of the doctrine, and the Arians in the congregation at Wal- weakness and scantiness of our capole in Mr. Crompton's latter days. pacity, which is here the case. I knew and visited an elderly gentle "3. I further considered that we man of that denomination among ought to distinguish between the docthem, and often heard Vr. Walker trine itself, and the evidence of it. speak highly in his commendation “ The doctrine may be of so sublime for reading, information, good sepse, and mysterious a nature, that it may firmness of mind and power in argu- be very difficult to conceive of it, and mentation.
yet the evidence clear and full Pure Mr. r. proceeds, “ And here, i. I faith is founded only on testimony. considered with myself, that the When once therefore it is made to proper Deity of Christ must either appear that, thus saith the Lord,' be an imporiant truth or an important reason ought to be silent, and give error; either one side is guilty of place to faith. blasphemy or the other of idolatry. “I have, Sir, enlarged the more 2. If Christ be not, God by nature, on this head, because I think it is of I could not see how with any pro- great importance in deciding this and priety, there could be attributed to other points of revealed religion, him the incommmunicable names and though I think not duly attended to titles of God.
by many of the present age, who * “ But after all, my, reason opposed would have all things demonstrated the doctrine. Here are two, the by reason. Father and the Son (I may add three, I speak my own experience, and the Holy Gbost) distinguished having observed in conversation with from each other
, by personal proper. those of the opposite opinion, that ties, acts and operations, and yet all all their arguments from Scripture three partaking of the Godhead, or centred here. The doctrine is concommunicating in the same divine trary to reason, and therefore cannot infinite, nature.; whereas both Scrip- be true. What is the consequence ture and season assure me, there is Why, such an interpretation is to be but one quly living and true God,' put upon the text as is consistent with so that I was ready to cry out with their reason, Ycà, I have been told Nicodemus, . How can these things to my face by my antagonist, when be' Hic labor, hoc opus est! Here pioched with an argument from I found the greatest difficulty, and Scripture, that were the proper indeed a very painful one, which I Deity of Christ delivered in the most would gladly have got rid of. What plain and express terms imaginable, shall I do? Often did I spread my he would not believe it, because concase, before the Lord, pleading with trary to all reason, and this by, à him to set me right in this important person who professed a great repoint, for I looked upon, my eternal verence for the Scriptures, and a interest to be concerned therein, and willingness to be determined by them therefore dreaded leaning to my own in this point. This, you will say, understanding. And that which at was plain dealing, but knowing the last gave me satisfaction, to the set. man, his meaving was, as I charitably tling of my mind, were such as the believe—the doctrine is contrary to following considerations ;
all reason, i. e. to his reason, and "1. Supposing only the doctrine of therefore it is not at all revealed in
Scripture, and consequently whatever be nonplused, in the apprehension of the scripture says about it, is to be this important point, it is no more understood in some other sense. than I may expect, since we are told,
“ Do not mistake me, dear Sir, I it is a mystery, and that without' cononly tell you what I have met withi, troversy. I was always afraid of using and therefore would not have any such boldness, as to trifle with or ridithing I have said, construed to your cule the term mystery, for fear of disadvantatge.
grieving the Holy Ghost and provoking “ 4. I was very sensible that reason him, &c. is a proper judge, whether we have “ 8. I considered, that the excelthe divine testimony in the Scriptures lency of a divme faith lies in resting for this iniportant doctrine, or not; upon the bare testimony of God in the and upon examination I thought it face of difficulties; yea, the greater was apparent that we had, from a mul- and more difficulties it has to struggle titude of texts of Scripture.
with, arising from natural and carnal “ 5. I could not but believe it was reason, the more God is honoured the design of God in revealing any by it. important doctrine, that it should be “ 9. I considered (which, indeed, received, and that we are not left to as a moral argument was of great our libért whether we will believe it weight with me) that the church of or not, and consequently that it is God bras been in possession of this expressed in such intelligible terms, doctrine ever since the apostles' times, that his mind may be known therein if any eredit may be given to ecclesiby the lowest class of Christians. astical history. However, the very
“ 6. I also thought we ought to adversaries of it canvot deny, but she distinguish between the doctrine itself was possessed of it for above 1500 and the explanation of it.
years, and it is certain that at the time “ The explanation is not of the of the reformation from Popery, the same authority with the original reve churches of Christ in Germany, &c. Jation. To instance in the doctrine of &c. harmonized in it. Now whence the Trinity—the original revelation is, is it they should all fall into the same that there is one living and true God way of thinking, so very different from -that this one God is Father, Son and those who glory in the new light they Holy Ghost, or that these three have received, and this in a doctrine equally partake of the same divine
so very mysterious ? The truth is, nature of Godhead; but that there is they better understood the nature of nevertheléss expressed in Scripture faith, paid a just and reverent regard stich a distinction between the Father, to the authority of God in his word, Son and Holy Ghost, as that each of resigning up their understandings to them take a part in the æconomy of him as a Rasa Tabula, &c. We are our redemption, and have personal told it wrs a common saying of Luther, properties, &c. &c. ascribed to them.
• Reason, thou art a fool! hold thy Now these propositions being the peace and let truth speak. Must they principal object of our faith, there is all then pass for fools and madmen no need of any farther explication, &c. Be it so. It was, however, no small
" I know it is usual for those who comfort to me, that if I be in an error, deny the doctrine of the Trinity, to it is with good company! I therefore urge the distinction against the Unity, was * unwilling, though a hard task and the Unity against the distinction, to proud nature, to sacrifice my puraš inconsistent, and here they make, blind reason to faith founded upon the their strongest efforts against the doc. aperring testimony of God, and backed trie; but whether they be incon- with such a cloud of witnesses as a sistent, l'et the Scripture determine, corroborating evidence. since one is as 'expressly revealed as “ 10. I considered that Christ, in the other, and therefore both ought his highest capacity, must either be a to be believed—but after all, if there finite or infinite Being, there being be an inconsistency, the Holy Ghost
no possible mediam between, and con(not we, intist account for it, on whose sequcntly the error inust be great on bare authority and testimony we solely rely.
Is not this an error in the copy, and 15. considered that if my reason shơuld it not be read, willing?
one side or the other. The question upshot of things, his doom must be then is, which will appear the more heavy, who not only denies this docsafe or dangerous at the great decisive trine himself, but may have been the day, when Christ shati judge the unhappy instrument of leading many world in righteousness. The wise others into so pernicious aud fatal an man would gladly take the safer side, error-a thought, the weight of which how painful soever to flesh and blood. is enough to make one tremble. Now, if my error be, that I have as. “ And now, Sir, I beg the favour cribed more hovour to Christ than you would inform me, what your really belongs to him, the sacred thoughts are of these considerations, Scriptures, the very words of God, whether well-founded and of weight, led me and a thousand of God's faith- for if neither be true, I ought not to ful servants into it. May I not hope have been influenced by them. That the Judge will pity; &c. &c.
the Father of light may lead you by “ These considerations, dear Sir, his spirit into all necessary, saving with some others, had their weight truth, is the sincere desire and earnest with me, whatever they may have prayer of with others. Besides, I thought it “Reverend, worthy and dear Sir, would be very imprudent to part with
Your affectionate Friend, a doctrine (so well-founded and so
and well-wisher, &c. &c. universally received) on account of
J. C." some difficulties attending it, for the “ P.S. I should be glad of two or opposite scheme, that is clogged with three hours' conversation with you as great or much greater difficulties; upon the subject, in an amicable and and still the more so, as I could not friendly manner, without any other part with it, but at the expense of company, if a proper time and place quitting several others of great moment and importance that depend upon it, come over to my house, and stay with
can be appointed; or if you please to &c.; but I shall not enlarge upon me a night or two, you shall be heartily these topics, fearing I have been loo welcome, and received with the kind. tedious already, and must ask pardon ness and friendship of a brother, by for my prolixity as well as freedom.
“ Your humble Servant, Only I would take notice of a maxim
J. C. among philosophers and divines, viz.
Walpole, Aug. 2nd, 1754." that an opinion taken up and embraced upon just grounds and reasons, is not Sir, - Unitarian sentiments, and to be quitted merely because we can- more especially societies of Unitarian not answer every objection against it. Christians, are deemed novel in this
“ Thus, Sir, I have given you an eastern part of Suffolk; but it hence account of the wavering of my faith, appears that those sentiments were and by what means it was established, embraced, strenuously maintained, and and hope you will take in good part zealously and industriously propawhat I have imparted to you of my gated, and the professors of them own experience; and I assure you it formed into a worshiping society by is honestly meant, however it may be an ejected minister in the neighbour. taken. I only beg leave to add one hood of Walpole, a professed Socinian, word more-the doctrine of the Trinity and a gentleman of considerable parts, has been generally deemed by the learning and sobriety, much more than church of Christ, to be not only an a century back; and that when inimportant, but a fuudamental point, firmity incapacitated him for conductand as fundamental in revealed, as ing their worship, some of them, the existence of a God in natural reli- more than a hundred years ago, joined gion, since we are initiated into Chris- the congregation of Protestant Distianity upon the solemu profession of senters at Walpole, made a plausible our faith in, and dedication to God the profession of religion and were bold in Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Whe- support of their opinions; and though ther it be so or not, I shall not deter- some apostatized and abjured them on mine, but it certainly becomes every joining the church, others retained Christian, and especially every mi them to their dying day, undoubtedly nister of the gospel, seriously to con- because they had satisfaction in them. sider, because if it prove so in the There must have appeared to be
some considerable force in their argu- been detained far beyond my intention, ments in behalf of their creed, or Mr. but I do not now regret it, as I have Cronipton's faith would not have been been able to consult Mr. Gillingwater's so shaken and his mind so grievously History of Lowestoft, and have not distressed as he represents. If the been disappointed in my expectation history of the workings of every mi. from it. nister's mind down to the present day, P. 346, it is said of the Vicar, who has been set a thinking on this William Whiston—“ He constantly subject, could be brought to light, preached twice on Sundays; and all pourtrayed as honestly, freely, faith- the summer season, at least, had a fully and feelingly, as Mr. C. has here catechetic lecture at the chapel in the pourtrayed his own, it would evidence evening, designed more for the benefit that it has been a prolific source of of the adult than for the children thempainful temptation to many. Mr. C.. selves." Mr. G. has the following appears to have been for a long time Note: “ To these lectures canje many a stranger to peace and comfort, but of the Dissenters. This may be easily the considerations here stated by him, accounted for when we consider that at last established him in the belief of the noted Mr. Emlyn had officiated the Trinity and Deity of Christ. as minister to the Dissenters of this
In what light they were viewed by town eighteen months, about ten years Mr. Stanton, when presented to his before. (Mr. Whiston was instituted wavering mind more than sixty years 19th August, 1698.) Mr. Emlyn bad past, may be inferred from the senti- adopted the Arian principles, and proments he maintained through his fol- bably had introduced the same sentilowing days, and they have not proved ments among many of his hearers, effectual to re-establish others who who, consequently, were pre-disposed have been alike painfully exercised to attend the lectures that were given with doubt, fear and dread as himself; by a minister of the establishment who but on the contrary, they have had entertained opinions similar to those cause to bless God that they were of Mr. Emlyn, as was the case with finally settled in the firm belief of Mr. Whistou. There appears to have Unitarianism, and found it to be a been the most intimate friendship beharbour of rest to their souls, from the tween these two divines, for when Mr. tossing waves and terrifying billows Whiston, in 1715, held a weekly meetwhich ever beat upon them while ing for promoting primitive Christraversing the troubled, unfathomable, tianity, which subsisted for two years, benighted ocean of Trinitariauism. the third chairman of that meeting But though those considerations have (which was also the last) was Mr. not been effectual to convince and Emlyn, June 28th, 1717," establish some others who have been Mentioning p. 347, Mr. John in doubt, like Mr. C., yet with him Baron, minister of Ditchingham, afterthey have learnt, by severe experience, wards Dean of Norwich, Mr. G. has to exercise candour and brotherly love the following Note. “The Dean, who (as appears, to Mr. C.'s honour, was bred among the Dissenters, died, throughout his epistle) towards the it seems, an Unitarian, according to doubting, and those who saw reason the epitaph for his monument. Mr. to differ from them. That unity of Wbiston says, he had some share in spirit may be maintained in the boud bringing him over to the church, &c.; of peace among professors of religion that though he accepted the deanry of of all denominations, is the hearty Norwich, yet he refused the bishopric, wish of your constant reader,
of which he had an offer." See WhisSAMUEL SAY TOMS. ton's Memoirs. P.S. I send with this Mr. Manning's P. 358. “ In the year 1688, Mr. Catholic Religion for your perusa), and Emlyn was invited by Sir Robert Mr. C.'s letter to Mr. S., that any Rich, one of the Lords of the Adfriend who can decipher Rich's short- miralty, to his house, at Rose Hall, hand, improved by Dr. Doddridge, near Beccles, in Suffolk, and was by may read or copy it.
him prevailed upon to officiate as mi
nister to the Dissenting Congregation Framlingham, March 3d, 1817. at Lowestoft, which place he supplied 2nd P. S. THE preceding has about a year and a half, but refused