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Art, I. - Three Letters addressed to Mr. Wellbeloved would then have ho.
the Ven, and Rev. Francis Wrang- noured him as a Christian pastor, ham, M. A., Archdeacon of Clevé- duly watchful over his flock : he would land, in Reply to his Remarks on have gladly acknowledged for him a Unitarianism and Unitarians, con- warm and sincere respect. Unhaptained in his Charge to the Clergy pily for the Archdeacon's credit, the of his Archdeaconry. Delivered in Charge which his opponent notices in July, 1822. By Č. Wellbeloved. these first “ Three Letters,” is the Second Edition. York, printed. very reverse of whatever becomes the Sold, in London, by Longman and character of the scholar, the gentleCo., and by R. Hunter. 1823. 8vo. man, and the Christian : and Mr. pp. 154.
Wellbeloved's painful duty is publicly
to accuse and to endeavour to convict UTTHAT are the doctrines of the him of unfairness, illiberality and mis
Vy New Testament, with regard representation. Pp. 1–3. to the person and pre-existence of The reluctance of the writer of the Christ, is the grand controversy of the “ Three Letters” to undertake this day; a controversy that is warmly task, is not simply personal: he apagitated, and which is not likely to be prehends (though in the second edition soon brought to a conclusion."* This
he gladly acknowledges the failure of remark was submitted to the public his apprehensions), that his performin 1788 : nor is the fact which gave ance will receive little attention froid occasion to it, much less observable those for whose information it is prinàt present. We shall hereafter say a cipally designed. Pp. 3–5. few words on the causes and probable Mr: Wellbeloved reduces the subconsequences of such a state of things. iects of his antagonist's Charge, ApOur immediate duty is to place before pendix and Notes, to something like our readers a view of the contents of methodical arrangement, and brings one among the most valuable polemi- thenin a general view, under two cal tracts with which it is our lot to heads. First, what the Archdeacon be acquainted.
of Cleveland alleges against Unitarians In July 1822, " the Ven. and Rev. and their creed. Secondly, his deFrancis Wrangham,” Archdeacon of fence of that part of the creed of Cleveland, addressed to his clergy a the Established Church, which relates Charge, which has called forth these
more particularly to the doctrine of animadversions from Mr. Wellbeloved, the Trinity. Guided in his own reEvery minister, nor least every digni- marks by this leading division, our tary of the Established Church, nust,
author, in the first place, endeavours in justice and candour, be supposed
to repel the accusations which the to exercise a cordial faith in the Arti. Archdeacon has with no sparing or cles to which he has subscribed. If lenient hand brought against UnitaArchdeacon Wranghamn, therefore, had rian Christians. Pp. 5, 6.
istans. Fp. 0, 0. contented himself with any thing like man
any thing like This dignitary seems fond of even a fair vindication of his creed; had his the language of warfare. Before he charge and the notes appended to it advances to his most serious and forbeen worthy of his reputation formidable attack, he indulges in what learning and talents ; had they exhi. he calls lighter skirmishings. He obbited the result of his own investiga. jects to the appellation assumed by tions of the writings of Unitarians, his adversaries: the title of Unitarians stated in a truly Christian spirit, his he will not allow them to use; nor pamphlet would certainly have passed will he even admit that they are a without rebuke from the gentleman Christian sect. Nay, he asserts, after who now stands forward as his censor. Bishop Burgess, that they reject the
Christian doctrines in omnibus. This .* The Life of Dr. Lardner, by Kippis, is not sufficient. He speaks of Unip. Isi.
tarians as “sciolists and schismatics, wretched partisans, teachers ill-in- pected, and it can be disproved only formed and perverse, writers who be- by Sir I. Newton's papers, in possestray a shallowness as to theological sion of a noble family, who might, criticism, and whose works are a nau- no doubt, be persuaded to lend their seating crambe recocta.” These are aid in supporting the orthodoxy of some of the lighter skirmishings of this illustrious person, if it were in Archdeacon Wrangham! To the same their power. When to these consiclass may perhaps be referred his cen- derations we add the fact, that Sir I. sure of Unitarians for claiming the Newton addressed letters to Le Clerc association of great names, those of on the spuriousness of 1 John v. 7, Newton, Locke, Watts, Paley, Bishop and on the true reading of 1 Tim. iii. Watson, &c., upon the slightest pre 16, who can with justice question his texts. Pp. 6–12.
Antitrinitarianism? Pp. 12–14. These several topics Mr. Wellbe- As to Mr. Locke, can it be thought loved discusses in the compass of the possible, that if he had been a believer first of his Three Letters : and he dis- in the doctrine of the Trinity, no inticusses them with adınirable intelli- mation of it would appear in his comgence, judgment, temper and effect. mentary upon so large a portion of While he points out the variance of Paul's epistles, or in his work on the his antagonist's language with good “ Reasonableness of Christianity”? sense, good taste, good manners and The attempt of Archdeacon Wrangthe genuine Christian spirit, he ex. ham to prove the orthodoxy of this poses the weakness of the ground on celebrated person, is ably refuted by which his assertions rest, and the in- the author of the “ Three Letters; justice and self-contradiction of his of the weight of whose arguments our charges and insinuations. · We par- readers will judge from the following ticularly invite the attention of our passages. readers to what the author of the In reply to the venerable dignitary's “ Three Letters” has written concern- reasoning from the phraseology eming the theological sentiments of the ployed by Mr. Locke, his antagonist very distinguished men whose names says, (p. 15,) “Here is your syllowe have copied.
gism: Mr. Locke speaks of the mysNewton and Locke “ both placed teries of salvation; the moral precepts theinselves in circumstances, as theo- are not mysteries of salvation ; ergo, logical writers, in which, had they Mr. Locke speaks of the doctrine of believed in the doctrine of the Trinity, the Trinity, Atonement, &c., and was they could scarcely have refrained a Trinitarian.-Had a Unitarian arfrom arowing that belief.” But for gued in this inconsequential manner, withdrawing those truly great men he would have met with little mercy from the ranks of orthodoxy we have at your hands; and, in truth, he more substantial reasons than their would have deserved little.” silence. No Trinitarian, we are con. The Archdeacon of Cleveland has fident, could say of the baptismal for- not referred to the place where Mr. mula what Sir I. Newton has said, - Locke expressly speaks of “the mys“ That it was the place from which teries of salvation.” On the other they at first tried to derive the Tri. hand, the Rev. Gentleman's opponent nity.” We have, moreover, the direct points to texts in Paul's epistles, testimony of Mr. Hopton Haynes, which fully shew the scriptural imDeputy Assay Master of the Mint, port of the word mystery; texts t under Sir I. Newton, with whom he which Locke has well explained, and was intimately acquainted. He une- the learned dignitary misapprehended. quivocally declared that Sir I. Newton Mr. Locke, in one of his letters to did not believe in the pre-existence of Limborch, (dated Oates, January 6, Christ; that he disapproved of Dr. 1700,) informs his correspondent of Clarke's Arianism, and expressed his the high estimation in which some firm conviction, that the time will persons held Allix's “ Judgment of come, when the doctrine of the incarnation, as cominonly received, shall Lord Portsmouth's. Nichol's Lit. be exploded as an absurdity equal to Anec. &c. IV. 677. transubstantiation. The testimony of t Rom. xvi. 25, 26; Ephes. i. 9, üi. Mr. H. Haynes cannot justly be sus- 3–9; Col. i. 25-27.
the Ancient Jewish Church against amiable qualities as a man : nor can the Unitarians,” of their persuasion he be forgotten as an eminently pleasthat it was a death-blow to Unitari ing and instructive writer, in the class anism; and, without giving even a of miscellaneous literature. Theolohint of his own opinion on the subject, gical works, however, were not at all he expresses his desire of receiving according to his taste : and it is doubtaid and information from every quar- ful whether he had a competent acter, in his searches after truth. Hence quaintance with those of Watts. Dr. Archdeacon Wrangham would infer, Lardner, on the other hand, not only that in Locke's opinion, Allix had had the best means of information really succeeded in his attempt. Let concerning what Mr. Wellbeloved corus hear Mr. Wellbeloved, in answer: rectly states as being something be“ Because some thought that the cause
yond“ a matter of mere opinion,” of the Unitarians was lost, that all their
but possessed, moreover, exactly the arguments were overthrown, and orthodoxy
habits and attainments which qualified firmly established, are we to conclude that him for judging of the fact : and Mr. Locke thought so ? He does not his testimony is, that Watts's last give even a hint to his learned correspon, thoughts were completely Unitarian. dent of his own opinion on the subject. -Pp. 20—30. How, indeed, could he, when he had “I am not aware," remarks the formed no opioion; not having been able, writer of the “ Three Letters,” “ that as he says, though he bad bought the Watson, Paley, and Sir William Jones, work of Allix as soon as it appeared, to
have been generally, or with any defind either health or leisure to read it?
gree of confidence, claimed by us.” This important fact, which is stated in
To such a claim we also are strangers. the sentence immediately preceding that which you have quoted, you have not no
* Mr. Wellbeloved's observations on ticed. Permit me to supply this defect. some of the productions of Watson • Allisii librum quam primùm prodiit and of Paley, and on the sentiments coêmi animo legendi, sed otiose hactenus of Dr. Wallis, and of other modal præ manibus jacuit, necdum sive per va- Trinitarians, well deserve the regard letudinem sive per alias avocationes le of the reader for their correctness, gere licuit, spero propediem pinguius et strength and pertinency. Addressing fructuosius otium. Quid de eo audias
the Archdeacon of Cleveland, he says, interim mihi dicas. Quidam apud nos,'* &c. From this passage, therefore, your
“I do not wonder that you dislike to cause derives no aid."
be reminded of the ever- memorable con
test at the end of the 17th century :Nor from the omission of such a yet the evident irritation under which you passage does the present advocate of exclaim, “Why am I to be harassed with that cause derive any honour. The the squabbles of South and Sherlock ?" inadvertency (and inadvertency we does not well accord with the diguity of must take it to be) is not a little cen- your station and character. The controsurable. We rejoice that the defect versy of which you have spoken thus has been so well supplied by Mr. contemptuously, was carried on by some Wellbeloved.-Pp. 14-20.
of the most eminent divines of your The question, if we are still to call
church; by whom it was regarded as of
high importance : and by its termination it a question, respecting the theolo
the character of your church was deeply gical creed of Dr. Watts, towards the
affected,” &c. -Pp. 30–34. end of his life, is accurately canvassed in this part of the first of the “ Three The cases of the late Rev. Robert Letters." We are highly pleased with Robinson and of Dr. Whitby are next the author's notice of the article on considered by our author, who comthis most excellent man in the General pletely refutes the erroneous asserBiographical Dictionary. For the va- tions of his opponent concerning them, lid reasons which he assigns, he hesin together with his disgraceful mistake tates in submitting to the late Dr. in respect of the theological faith and Aikin as an umpire in the dispute. profession of Gagneius.-Pp. 34-38. The memory of that deeply-regretted The second of the “ Three Letters" individual will not cease to be ho- is now to pass under our review. In poured for his very estimable and this the writer meets the more serious
- attacks of his antagonist. * Familiar Letters, (1708,) p. 457. Against Unitarian Christians the charge has long been alleged, that have Unitarian Christians shewn themthey deny the plenary inspiration of selves more partial than the members the Scriptures. “Those who originally of other religious communions to the framed, and those who, like the Arch- employment of conjectural criticism ? deacon of Cleveland adopt, the accil. An inquiry which we scruple not to sation, do themselves little honour, answer in the negative; while, for the either as logicians or theologians. correctness of the reply, we appeal to What do they mean by the plenary every man who has any acquaintance inspiration of the Sacred Volume? with the Theological works of the By whom is it possible for such an last and the present century. In this inspiration to be credited or proved, place we shall extract a few sentences in the strict and absolute sense of the froin the pen of Mr. Wellbeloved : words? Is not the inspiration of a writer one thing, and the inspiration
“ It is indeed very true, that, in como of a legislator, a prophet, an apostle
the mon with other critics, we have the of Jesus Christ, another? Are we to
resources of conjectural criticism at com.
mand,' and you will not deny, that in confound together cases which must
certain circumstances, and under proper ever be mutually and totally distinct ?
regulations, these resources may be legiIn point of fact, too, are they Unita
timately employed. If it were not so, rian Christians, who exclusively call would your own Secker, Newcome and in question the hypothesis of this Lowth have applied to them, as they plenary inspiration? He must be have done in the Old, or Markland and grossly ignorant of the history and the Michaelis in the New Testament?-It state of theological literature, who must also be granted, not only that we knows not that
can, but that we do punctuate; and you
surely cannot mean to insinuate that this “ In our views on the subject of plenary is an illegitimate aid in the interpretation inspiration, we differ little, if at all, from of ancient writiugs. Who has more freely, many illustrious writers, 'whom" even or with greater or better effect, changed Archdeacon Wrangham “would hardly the common punctuation of the text of venture to brand as Schismatics and the New Testament, than your own Sciolists; such as Erasmus, Grotius, Markland ? Even Horsley, who has Castalio, Le Clerc, and even, among ceusured the conjectures of Newcome, divines of the Church of England, Paley, has not disapproved of punctuating, or Powell and Burnet."-Pp. 34-43. abstained from it. Are the points also Equally unsuccessful is the vene
to be deemed inspired? Call in question
our judgment, if you please ; but do not rable dignitary in his next article of
deny us the right that all other critics accusation. He objects to Unitarian and interpreters of Scripture enjoy. Christians, that they have the conve- «They can transpose.' In this there is nient resources of conjectural criticism no violation of any canon of criticism ; at command: he more than insinu. nor any thing contrary to the practice of ates that of these resources they avail the best and most cautious critics. Newthemselves wantonly and lightly. His come and Lowth, and Blayney and Stock shaft does not reach the objects of and Michaelis and Griesbach, with many his attack, but recoils on the body of others of the greatest name, have all men among whom he ranks. What transposed ; and, by so doing, have re. the Archdeacon of Cleveland and
moved many difficulties, and illustrated
several obscure passages of Scripture. many authors of the same class, have
Do not make that criminal in us, which said respecting conjectural criticism, in others is at least innocent, if not praise. involves two questions; the one, of worthy.”—Pp. 43–45. i principle, the second, of fact. Is such . criticism universally inadınissible in Such is the dignified reproof which the arrangement of the sacred text ? the writer of the “Three Letters”.
That is the principle to be previously administers to the Archdeacon of settled. Now here Unitarian ChrisCleveland ; such the nature of the tians give no different answer from reasonings which he opposes to that what has uniformly been given by “ work of crimination" of which his the most judicious and intelligent antagonist is so fond. Facts and Theologians, of all denominations. arguments more convincing Mr, Well. They reply, that conjectural criticism, beloved could not have produced. if it be ever used, is to be used only in In proportion to the notoriety of those extreme cases. The next inquiry is, facts, to the clearness and the weight
of those arguments, must be our words by the same rules and dictates.”— astonishment that either could have P. 50. been overlooked by “the Ven. and On the charge that Unitarian Chris. Rev. Francis Wrangham.” If he tians are wise above what is written, really was ignorant of what had been he observes, done by Newcome, Lowth, Blayney,
« The Bible and the Bible alone is the Stock, &c. &c., what estimate shall
standard to which we appeal. I adopt we form of his Theological learning? The.com
og: the common language of Unitarians Or if, knowing all this, he could still when I say, Convince us that any tenet write as he has written, what shall we is authorized by the Bible, from that think of his Christian equity and can- moment we receive it. Prove any docdour, or even of his good faith as a trine to be a doctrine of Christ, emanaman?
ting from that wisdom which was from Replies not less pertinent and satis- above, and we take it for our own, and factory are given by Mr. Wellbeloved po power on earth shall wrest it from us. to some other charges against Unita
They are not the doctrines of scripture rian Christians : one of these, though
that we reject on the ground of their far from being in itself novel, is singu.
being unreasonable, but the doctrines
which are contained in antiscriptural larly expressed by the Archdeacon:
articles, creeds and confessions."-Pp. " You add," says his opponent, as a 51, 52. portion of the pure gold will still remain in spite of all their efforts, they endeavour
We proceed to another accusation to buddle it up under strained analogies, pre
preferred by Archdeacon Wrangham and violent or incongruous metaphors.""
peruous metaphors." against the same body of men, and to -P. 48.
the refutation of it by Mr. Wellbe
loved : This certainly is strange language, for a man of Archdeacon Wrangham's « Even inconclusive argumentation,' station, professions and attainments. you observe, as well as inaccurate Our readers will agree with the author language, is by some of their apostles of the “Three Letters” in his criticism charged upon what they yet however upon it:
vouchsafe to denominate the word of
God. The boldest of our apostles, I am · To huddle up gold under violent
confident, will be found to charge nó and incongruous metaphors, is a meta
such imperfections on what they really phor so violent and incongruous, that it
consider to be the word of God; but is by no means easy to comprehend its limiting, as I have before remarked, the meaning. Perhaps, however, you intend
extent of inspiration, and that for reasons to say, what has been often more plainly,
which will not be easily disproved, they but yet not truly said, that in order to
hold themselves at liberty to judge of the evade the force of passages of scripture
argumentation and the language of the cited against us, we refuse to understand
sacred writers, when not under the them literally, and have recourse to a immediate influence of inspiration, with figurative interpretation."
the same freedom that they would use This accusation Mr. Wellbeloved in the case of any other authors."-Pp. pointedly repels : his denial of it is 52, 53. express, and his language strong; yet By the examples of Bishop Burnet. not stronger than facts will justify: Dr. 'Powell, formerly Master of St.'
“I appeal to every impartial and John's College, Cambridge, and Dr. qualified judge, as to the truth of what Paley, our author shews that the prini assert, when I say, as I confidently do, ciple on which certain Unitarian that we have recourse to a figurative " apostles" bave proceeded, is dis. sease of passages in no jastances, which
tinctly sanctioned and fully admitted,
innile cancti the idiom does not fully warrant."-P.49.
18: on the part of divines of the episcopal Then, after shewing that the same communion; while at the same time, mode of exposition is employed by it may be completely justified by members of the Established Church, reason. The doctrine of the inspired be gives to the Archdeacon of Cleve- teacher, is one thing : his arguments land this wholesome admonition: may be quite another thing; and, be
"Do not hold us up to the scorn or the they what they may, they do not indignation of your clergy, for exercising affect the authority of his doctrine. the same attention to the style of the In this view of the subject we most sacred writers, and interpreting their heartily concur : nevertheless, we can