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*• celling the prophets in virtue. This, he ** fays, the apostles taught, perverting the "fense of the sacred scriptures, but that *' those who came after them made a God of «* Christ, who was not God*." It appears also from Eufebius's answer to Marcellus, that he also charged his opponents with holding a new doctrine, and scrupled not to call that doctrine heresy f.

The first argument of Eusebius is, that the sacred scriptures are against the Unitarians. This, however, is a matter of opinion, in which he might be, and I doubt not was, mistaken. He then mentions the writings of some persons who held the doctrines of the pre-existence and divinity of Christ, viz. Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, and

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Clemens. Clemens. But of these Justin was the oldest, and it is not denied that he did hold those doctrines, being probably the first who advanced them. Who the Clemens is that he mentions, he does not fay j but had it been Clemens Romanus, it is probable that he would have placed him first, the rest being named in the order of time in which they flourished; and besides, there is nothing in the epistle of Clemens that is in the least favourable to those doctrines. Consequently, it must have been Clemens Alexandrinus that he intended, and therefore the highest antiquity of the doctrine of the divinity of Christ that Eufebius could prove, is that of Justin.

Pearson makes no difficulty of contradicting Eufebius in this cafe. His opponent, Mr. Daille, having said, if that account be true, he replies, '* He knew very *' well that, strictly speaking, it was not "true 5 for he knew many others, long "before Theodotus, and not a few even "before Ignatius, who taught the fame "heresy, a catalogue of whom may be seen "in Epiphanius *," and whom he proceeds to mention.

Eusebius's reply to Marcellus's charge of novelty is equally unsatisfactory, as he 'only, in a general way, refers to writings older than those of Origen, in all which he says he found the fame faith -j-.

As to the hymns used by christians, and said by Eufebius to have been from the beginning, no inference can be safely drawn from them, because divinity may be ascribed to persons in very different fenses, and some of them very innocent ones, especially in

* Theodotum novifle rursus pernego. Dallæus ipfe dubitanter hæc proponit, si vera sunt, inquit, quæ Caius, five aliusapud Eufcbium scriptor vetustissinius dicit, Th«>dotum scilicet primum asleruisse Christum fuisse nudum hominem; ipse enim optime novit hæc, si stricte sumantur, vera non efle: novit alios quamplurimos diu ante Theodotum, non paucos etiam ante Ignatium, eandem bærefin promulgasse, quorum catalogus apud Epiphanium legitur. Vindiciæ, lib. 2. cap. 2. p. 24.

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aTTQ&iKvulat . Hk ofSai; agx iiaSiSMxev eiwm mmeioSca rm vuv caqsaiv mo ruv SixSaM.o/^w\i. Contra Marcillum, lib. 1.

p. 20.

the the language of poetry; and as to the antiquity of these hymns, as the historian has not mentioned the age of them, it is very possible, for any thing that appears to the contrary, that they might have been those very hymns which were rejected by Paulus Samosatenlis on account of their novelty.

It is likewise alledged, that Pliny says, that " the christians on a certain day, before ** it was light, met to sing a hymn to Christ •« as to God (or a God) *." But as to this writer, if he had been told that hymns were fung by christians in honour of Christ, being himself a heathen, he would naturally imagine that they were such hymns as had been composed in honour of the heathen gods, who had been men. He would be far from concluding from that circumstance, that Christ was considered by his followers either as the supreme God, or as a pre-existent spirit, the maker of the world under God.

* Affirmabant autem hanc fuisse summam vel culpx suæ, vcl erroris, quod essent suliti stato die, ante lueem convenire; carmenqucCliiisto,quasi dco, dictre. Ef.ist. 97.

SEC

SECTION II.

Of the Excommunication ofTheodotus by ViStor.

npHE argument that is urged with the most plausibility against the antiquity of the Unitarian doctrine, is that which is drawn from the excommunication of Theodotus, by Victor, bishop of Rome, about the year 200; as it may be said, that this bishop, violent as he was, would not have proceeded to the public excommunication of a man whose opinions were not generally obnoxious.

I wish that we had a few more particulars concerning this excommunication of Theodotus, as it is the first of the kind that is mentioned in history. It is to be observed, that it is not Caius, the writer quoted by Eusebius, who fays that he was excommunicated on account of his being an Unitarian, but Eusebius himself*; so that,

* H<rav Se Stoi a/Aipa ©eojbla rn ffxstflsaf fJUx-Mai^ Ts ts^ials em fit/Sops a; efw, Th rolt utimmn. Hist. lib. 5. cap. 21> p. 253.

considering

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