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gross and wilful misrepresentation.* This I deny; and if I have inadvertently said any thing that implies as much, I shall publicly ask your pardon. I must, therefore, insist upon your making good this accusation. You repeatedly charge me with wilful misrepresentation ; but I doubt not you really believe me to be that fraudulent and base character which alone is capable of such conduct, and, therefore, you say no worse of me than you really believe.

I do not think so ill of you, and, therefore, I do not use that language in speaking of you. I have, indeed, called you a falsifier of history, because you have added, and (as you now acknowledge) knew that you added, to the accounts of ancient historians. But then you really believed that the transactions passed as you related them, and that the particulars which you added, had been omitted by the early writers. This is far short of a wilful lie. After what I had written on this subject, in my Eighteenth Letter to you, (p. 264,] I am surprised that you should write as you do now. How different must be your feelings from mine!

The conclusion of your remarks, which is so little of a piece with the body of the work that it puts me in mind of the introduction to Horace's Art of Poetry,t is something extraordinary, and indeed shocking. After ascribing to me the worst designs and the worst passions that can occupy the head or heart of man, and for once intimating the possibility of something wrong lurking unperceived in your own bosom, speaking of the awful solemnities of the last day, you express a desire that “ whatever of intemperate wrath and carnal anger has mixed itself on either side with the real with which we have pursued our fierce contention, may then be forgiven to us both; a prayer," you say, “ which you breathe from the bottom of your soul,” and to which you add, that if I have “ any part in the spirit of a Christian, I shall,

“ upon my bended knees, say, Amen.”+ Which of us has been actuated by the bad spirit which you describe, our readers will infer, not from the declarations of

Remarks, p. 71. (P.) Dr. Horsley, I apprehend, corrected this sentence in his re-publication, 1789, where he only says, “ I have been charged with misrepresentation." Tracts, p. 394.

† “ Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam

Jungere si velit, et varias inducere plumas,
Undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum
Desipat in piscem mulier formosa supernè;

Spectatum admissi risum teneatis, amici ?" (P.)
Tracts, p. 411.

either of us, but from our general temper, conduct, and manner of writing. If I be the man you describe, I can have no hope of forgiveness at the awful period to which you refer, unless I repent and reform now. If, contrary to the solemn declaration of your perfect innocence, quoted above, you had, when you wrote this conclusion, a latent suspicion that all had not been right on your side, you certainly, Sir, ought to have paused, have carefully revised what you had written, and have expunged what you could not approve. Boasting of more Christianity than you will allow to me, you ought to teach me, by your example, what it is that our religion requires in these cases, and not give any occasion to an unauthorized teacher in a conventicle to instruct an Archdeacon of the Church of England in one of the first lessons in the Christian school. *

I am, Rev. Sir,

Your very humble Servant,

J. PRIESTLEY.

• The following letter, in the Gentleman's Magazine, (LIX. 211,) did not occur to me till after Dr. Priestley's remarks on the Parmenides," (supra, pp. 234, 235, 237,) had passed through the press : « Mr. Urban,

March 2, 1789. “ The learned Bishop of St. David's, in his . Remarks upon Dr. Priestley's Second Letters,' p. 11, [Tracts,' p. 338,] sarcastically exclaims, • Dr. Priestley has been reading the Parmenides! Having taught the Greek Jauguage several years at Warrington, he conceived himself well qualified to encounter that profound book. The benefit which he has received from the performance of this kuotty task exactly corresponds with my notion of bis abilities for the undertaking. He has found the whole treatise unintelligible.'

« Dr. Priestley is not the only scholar whom this misfortune (if indeed it be a misfortuve) hath befallen. The late Dr. Burton, of whom his ingenious and candid biographer, [Dr. Kippis,] says, • Prejudice itself cannot deny that he was an able divine and a sound scholar, (Biog. Brit. III. 48,) has made a similar confession. Writing to one of his learned friends, a Prussian gentleman, with whom he became acquainted at Oxford, he complains of the Parmenides, that he found the whole work obscure and paradoxical, full of mysteries and enigmas, which he could not comprehend or expound.—Dr. Priestley, therefore, has at least a very famous Oxford tutor, with whom to share the sarcasm of his learned adversary.

“ This remarkable coincidence of sentiment in two such eminent persons will not have been pointed out in vain, should it effectually caution any of your readers, and particularly those of the clerical order—not to be led away, in an important controversy, by a haughty style, and contemptuous airs,' from the diligent and patient investigation of truth.

“ Yours, &c.

« T. A.S."

310

STRICTURES

ON

MR. HOWES'S
Ninth Number of Observations on Books,

ANCIENT AND MODERN.*

In Mr. Howes I have a much more respectable, and a somewhat more temperate antagonist than the Archdeacon of St. Alban's; but I am sorry to find, that he has employed his ingenuity and learning (or, to use a favourite phrase of his own, his talent of disputation) where neither of them can possibly avail him; the former in exculpating himself from the charge of representing me as an unbeliever, and the latter in attempting to prove that the body of the Jews expected a God in their Messiah. I do not rest my accusation on the construction of

parti. cular words and phrases, though that would abundantly justify it. 'Let any man of common sense read his Discourse, t and then say, whether one great object of it was not to represent me as one of that class of persons who, having formerly been professed unbelievers in Christianity, on finding that ground untenable, now only pretend to believe it, calling themselves rational Christians, when in reality they are no Christians at all. He has no occasion to have recourse to his dictionary for the meaning of the word pretend. Does any man ever content himself with saying of another, that he pretends to a particular character, if he really thinks that he has a just claim to it? I say of Mr. Gibbon, that he pretends to be a believer in Christianity; but then I mean what, if I use that language at all, I ought to mean, viz. that he only pretends to believe it, while he is artfully endeavouring to sap the very foundations of it. The same is the natural inference from all that Mr. Howes had said with respect to me.

If Mr. Howes really thinks me to be a believer in Chris. tianity, as he now says, it would much better have become him ingenuously to acknowledge his fault, and to ask pardon for it. At present his apology only aggravates his offence. However, it affects himself only, and not me. We have one common Master and Judge, who knows both what he really intended by his account of me, and what I am; and by his sentence, and not by that of Mr. Howes, I shall stand or fall.

* From 1776 to 1800. Collected into four vols. 8vo. † See Appendix, No. XIII.

As to Mr. Howes's attempt, in this publication, to prove that the body of the Jewish nation really believed in the pre-existence and divinity of their Messiah, it must appear perfectly futile to any person who shall read what they will find on that subject in my History of early Opinions concerning Christ. He will there find that even the Christian fathers, eager as they were to press the Jewish Scriptures into the service of the doctrine of the Trinity, did not pretend to have the body of the Jewish nation on their side; and would not they have been as glad as Mr. Howes now appears to be, to have found that belief among them? What some. particular Jewish cabbalists (whose writings are remarkable for their ænigmatical obscurity) may have said, in a later period, is nothing to the purpose. To prove the easy reception of the doctrine of the divinity of Christ in the primitive times, Mr. Howes must find the doctrine of the divinity of the Messiah to have been the general belief of the Jewish nation in the age of the apostles. The opinion of such a Platonist as Philo, if we could be sure of it, can never pass for that of the Jewish nation in general, who certainly were not Platonists. Josephus is at least as good an authority as Philo; but is it probable that the Jewish nation, or the Pharisees in general, were believers in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, though this writer says they were? Josephus himself, and a few others, might believe that doctrine; and, from a natural bias to add to the respectability of our own party, he might give that representation of the faith of his sect in general. But Philo does not say that the Jews in general interpreted the Scriptures as he did.

In my History, Mr. Howes will find the most express testimony, that the Jews, in every age, from our Saviour's time to the present, were believers in the simple humanity of their Messiah. The learned of that nation have always laughed at the pretence of orthodox Christians to prove that their ancestors ever believed any thing else. Let Mr. Howes get acquainted with any learned Jews in this country, and they will give him the satisfaction they have given me on the subject. And, is it not more likely that they should know the real sentiments of their countrymen, and of their own writers, with which they are continually conversant, than we can pretend to be? They give me the strongest assurances that the belief of their Messiah being a God, or that he preexisted, neither is now, nor ever was, the faith of any of their countrymen. On the contrary, they hold these doctrines in the greatest abhorrence. Since this was indisputably the case, both in the time of the Christian fathers and at present, let Mr. Howes shew in which of the middle ages that doctrine was first introduced, how far it spread, and when it was deserted by them. Let him first answer what the learned Basnage, who was a Trinitarian, has written on the subject,* and then I will consider his arguments.

lam, indeed, astonished that neither Dr. Horsley nor Mr. Howes should so much as mention the name of Basnage in treating of this subject, which he has so learnedly and so ably discussed, and who has so particularly considered what Cudworth, Allir and Bull, had advanced upon it. The character of M. Basnage, in Moreri’s Dictionary, by Le Clerc, is as follows: “ Monsieur Basnage étoit vrai jusques dans les plus petites choses. Sa candeur, sa franchise, sa bonne foi, ne paroissent pas moins dans ses ouvrages, que la profondeur de son erudition.” What will foreigners say of Englishmen still retailing the stale arguments of the three writers above-mentioned, without any notice of what has been replied to them by such a man as this ? Notwithstanding the acknowledged excellence of his character, there will be nothing extraordinary in Dr. Horsley's representing him as a wilful liar. If any character could have been a security against such gross insult, it would have been that of Origen.

I am not much acquainted with the Jewish cabbalists, except through the medium of Basnage and others, and therefore will not answer for the meaning of the writer Mr. Howes quotes, though it is of no signification wbat his meaning was; but of Philo I have some knowledge ; and his meaning, I am confident, Mr. Howes has most grossly mistaken. Referring to that passage in Philo, which will be found in my History, t he says, that “ the chief, or most ancient Logos (as Philo expresses himself) is likewise sometimes mentioned by him as being actually resident in the high-priest of the Jews, and even as being the very same person with the high-priest, as if they were blended into a compound indi. vidual; in consequence of which, the high-priest is there spoken of, and declared to be no longer a man,-and of this

* See supra, pp. 223, 224, 299, 300. + “ Of Early Opinions," B. i. Ch. viii. See Vol. VI.

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