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which I cannot omit this opportunity of most earnestly recommending to all my readers. It is written with that simplicity and modesty wbich distinguish all his writings ; and I should think it cannot fail to make a great impression on those whose minds are at all open to conviction in favour of the doctrine of the simple humanity of Christ. This he generally calls the Nazarean, and sometimes the Unitarian doctrine, as opposed both to the Trinitarian and the Ariun schemes, which he particularly considers. he says, “ seems to be the plainest and most simple scheme of all; and it is generally allowed to have been the belief of the Nazarean Christians, or the Jewish believers.”
For the convenience of the reader, I have subjoined to this Preface a short statement of the different opinions held by Dr. Horsley and myself on the subject of this controversy it and also an account of the time in which the principal ecclesiastical writers, and other persons whose names most frequently occur in the course of it, flourished. This will also be useful to the readers of my History of the Corruptions of Christianity.
Having, in the course of this controversy, had occasion very carefully to revise that part of the History which relates to the person of Christ, I can assure the reader that I see no reason to make any more than the following corrections and alterations, which, considering the difficulty and extent of the undertaking, will, I think, be deemed to be very inconsiderable, and upon the whole by no means unfavourable to my principal object.
Lardner, X. p. 632. “ But whatever," he proceeds, “ may be the simplicity of this scheme, even they who have seemed to receive it, in the main, have corrupted it, and suffered themselves to be entangled in philosophical schemes and speculations, about the pre-existence of the soul of Christ, and other matters. Indeed," he adds, “ the Christian religion has in it great simplicity, both as to doctrines and positive institutions. But men have not delighted to retain the simplicity of either.” Ibid.
Dr. Lardner had before remarked, “ Of those who are in this scheme it is to be observed, finally, that they admit not any real Trinity, or Trinity of Divine Persons, either equal or subordinate. But to them there is one God, even the Father, and one Lord, even Jesus Christ: who had, when on earth, the spirit without measure, and also poured out of the spirit, or spiritual and miraculous gifts in abundance
upon his apostles, and others his followers, and is exalted to dominion and power over all things, to the glory of God, and for the good of the Church.” Ibid. + See Appendix, No. VIII.
This Catalogue will appear, with the Indices, in the last volume, Š These have been used in preparing Vol. V. for the press.
REV. Sir, At length you have condescended to gratify my wishes, and have favoured me with a series of Letters in answer to mine. But as they are written with a degree of insolence which nothing in your situation or mine can justify, and indicate a temper that appears to me to be very far from being the most proper for the discussion of historical truth, I shall consider myself in this answer as writing not so much to you as to the candid part of the public, to whom our correspondence is open ; and I have no doubt but that I shall be able to satisfy all who are qualified to judge between us, that your ignorance of the subject which you have undertaken to discuss is equal to your insolence; and therefore that there is no great reason to regret that you have formed a resolution to appear no more in this controversy. " What. ever more," you say, “ you may find to say upon the subject, in me you will have no antagonist,”*
I made the proposal to discuss the question of the state of opinions concerning Christ in the early ages, in a perfectly amicable, and, as I thought, the most advantageous manner, and my address to you was uniformly respectful. It has not been my fault that this proposal was not accepted.
“ I hold it my duty to use pretty freely that high seasoning of controversy which may interest the reader's attention.”+ What that high seasoning is, is sufficiently apparent through the whole of your performance, viz. a violation of all decency, and perpetual imputations of the grossest, but of the most improbable kind. This, from respect to the public and to myself, I shall not return; but
• Letters, p. 9. (P.) Tracts, p. 93.
I shall certainly think myself authorized by it to treat you with a little less ceremony in the present publication, in which I shall take occasion, from your gross mistakes and misrepresentations, to throw some further light on the subject of this discussion.
The reader must have been particularly struck with the frequent boasting of your victory, as if the controversy had come to a regular termination, and the public had decided in your favour. “My victory," you say, “ is already so complete, that I might well decline any further contest.”* Again you say, “ How would it have heightened the pride of my victory, could I have found a fair occasion to be the herald of my adversary's praise !”+ You call me a “ foiled polemic,” and “ a prostrate enemy.”+ What marks of prostration you may have perceived in me, I cannot tell. i do not know that I have yet laid myself at your feet, and I presume this kind of language is rather premature. It will be time enough for you to say with Entellus, Hic cæstus arlemque repono, when the victory, of which you boast, shall be as clear as his, and shall be declared to be so by the proper judges. You ought also to have remembered the advice of Solomon, Prov. xxvii. 2: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips."
On the contrary, I cautioned my readers & not to conclude too hastily in my favour, but to wait till you had made your reply. You have now done it; and I hope they will do me the justice to hear me again in return, especially as this will probably be the last time that I shall trouble them in this way.
Though this controversy has not come to what I think its proper and desirable termination, I rejoice that it has pro. ceeded thus far ; and upon the whole, I derive great satisfaction from the opposition that my History of the Corruptions of Christianity has met with, both because a more general attention has been excited to the subject, and also because, having by this means been led to attend to it inore than I should otherwise have done, I have discovered a variety of additional evidence in support of what I had advanced, and such an abundant confirmation of the evidence before pro. duced, as gives even myself a greater degree of confidence
• Letters, p. 7. (P.) Tracts, p. 92.
Letters, pp. 8, 10. (P.) Tracts, pp. 92, 95.
in it than I could otherwise have had. And when my readers in general shall see, as they cannot but see, with what ex. treme eagerness the most insignificant oversights have been catched at and magnified, and the readiness with which I have acknowledged such oversights, notwithstanding the gross insults with which this candour has been treated, and also that every objection has brought out new evidence in my favour, it cannot but beget a persuasion that the most sharp-sighted adversary will not be able to detect any mistake of real consequence; and from this will be derived a degree of credit to my work that nothing else could have given it. Your object, you say, was to demolish the credit of my narrative ; * but I am much mistaken if, instead of that, your weak, though violent opposition has not greatly contributed to strengthen it.
You will perhaps be struck with the change in the style of my address to you, when you observe me beginning with Rev. Sir, instead of the Dear Sir of my former Letters, an appellation to which our personal acquaintance gave a propriety, and which you have returned ; but when I consider how ill it corresponds to the spirit of your Letters, and the stress you lay on your Archidiaconal dignity, which appears not only in the title-page of your work, but at the head of many of your Letters, and which you intimate that I had not sufficiently attended to,t I thought the style of Rev. Sir, and occasionally that of Mr. Archdeacon, both more proper, and also more pleasing to yourself; and therefore I have adopted it. And if by any accident I should wound your feelings, you will find the proper balm in my running title.
While persons who have some personal acquaintance treat each other with decent respect, and are uniform in doing it, as I have been to you, the usual style of Dear Sir is natural and proper ; but when you charge me with numerous instances of the grossest artifice and imposition on the Public, you in fact give me the lie; and therefore ought yourself to have dropped all terms expressive of affection and regard. I renounce all particular respect for the man who has treated me in this manner; and in the outset of this second part of our correspondence I subscribe myself, merely because custom authorizes the form, Rev. Sir, your very humble servant,
J. PRIESTLEY. * Letters, p. 8. (P.) Tracts, p. 93. + Letters, p. 158. (P.) Tracts, p. 275. 1 Letters, p. 159. (P.) Tracts, p. 276.
Of the Doctrine of the first Ages concerning the Person of
Christ. REV. Sir, To shew you that I see nothing very formidable in your strongest arguments, I shall begin with what you call “ a positive proof, that the divinity of our Lord was the belief of the very first Christians." * This proof is wholly derived from the Epistle of Barnabas.
Of Barnabas you say, “ You allow him a place among the fathers of the apostolic age; and will you not allow that he was a believer in our Lord's divinity? I will not take upon me, Sir, to answer this question for you ; but I will take upon me to say, that whoever denies it, must deny it to his own shame.”+ “The proof” from this writer, you say, “is so direct and full, though it lies in a narrow compass, that if this be laid in the one scale, and your whole mass of evidence from incidental and ambiguous allusions, in the other,' the latter will fly up and kick the beam.""}
I am surprised, Sir, at the extreme confidence with which you tread this very precarious and uncertain ground; when, to say nothing of the doubts entertained by many learned men concerning the genuineness of this epistle, the most that is possible to be admitted is, that it is genuine in the main. For, whether you may have observed it or not, it is most evidently interpolated, and the interpolations respect the very subject of which we treat. Two passages in the Greek, which assert the pre-existence of Christ, are omitted in the ancient Latin version of it. And can it be supposed that that version was made in an age in which such an omission was likely to be made ? Both the interpolations are in Sect vi., where we now read thus : asyer yap oj ngaon TED! ημων, ως λεγει το υιω, Ποιησωμεν κατ' εικονα και καθ' ομοίωσιν ouw Tov avhqarov. For the scripture says concerning us, as he says to the Son, Let us make man according to our image and our likeness. But the ancient Latin version, corresponding to this passage is simply this : Sicut dicit scriptura, Faciamus hominem, &c., that is, As says the scripture, Let us make man, &c.
• Letters, p. 64. (P.) Tracts, p. 163.