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divine Logos he says also, that he dwells in God. He goes on to describe this divine Logos, thus united to the highpriest, as having had God for his father, and as being anointed with oil at his generation, or first government.* Since, then, Philo here ranked the high-priest as being the same with the divine Logos, and in other places, calls the divine Logos a high-priest, and conceives them capable of forming a compound individual; it is plain that the popular theology had no objection to a similar compound, formed out of the divine Logos and a human Messiah, descended from David; which union they would naturally signify under the idea of the latter being anointed Christ, who would consequently be then no longer considered as mere man.”+
Now, nothing can be more evident, even to a no very sagacious reader, than that Philo, in this
passage, is merely indulging himself in one of his extravagant allegorical interpretations of scripture ; supposing that what Moses says concerning the high-priest was not to be understood of any man, but of the Platonic divine Logos. This writer abounds in such ridiculous interpretations of scripture, and in them he was too readily followed by the Christian fathers. But Mr. Howes's interpretation of Philo is more extraordinary than Philo's interpretation of Moses. Besides, can this same divine Logos have a proper hypostatical union with the Jewish high-priest, (probably every Jewish high-priest,) and with Jesus, the son of Mary? What a strange system will this make!
Mr. Howes's construction of the passage, which he has quoted from Tertullian, is no less wide of his purpose ; but I shall not enlarge upon this topic till I see how Mr. Howes will acquit himself with respect to what he has engaged to do.
If any man can read the evidence that I have produced in my History, in favour of Unitarianism having been the ori. ginal faith of the Christian church; the acknowledgments of the orthodox fathers, that this doctrine was so prevalent among both the Jews and Gentiles, that it required the greatest caution in the apostles to teach them any more sublime doctrine ; that the doctrines of the divinity and preexistence of Christ were not taught with clearness and effect, except by John, at the time of the publication of bis Gospel, after that of the three others; that the common people, who were Unitarians, were extremely shocked at the first proposal of the doctrine of the Trinity in a later period; though, after this, the Trinitarians expressed great contempt and dislike of the Unitarian doctrine,* &c. &c. &c.; and yet maintain that there were no proper Unitarians in the apostolic age, and that which immediately followed it, I shall think him capable of undertaking to prove that this country was not inhabited by Britons before the arrival of the Romans; but that the Romans themselves were the Aborigines of the country.
Critical Observations D. 46. 47. (P.)
+ Ibid. p. 49. (P.)
We are promised, however, abundant evidence of this singular position; and as Mr. Howes maintains, that those whom I have called Unitarians in that age differed from the orthodox in nothing more than in supposing that the union of the divine and human nature of Christ commenced so late as his baptism, and not so early as at his conception, I take it for granted that we shall find this mighty difference of opinion distinctly marked by many of the ancient writers, and reasons given why this difference with respect to a date only, was considered as of so much consequence; for that the difference was thought to be considerable, and especially that the orthodox doctrine was thought to be much more difficult and sublime than the other, is too evident to be denied. Now I should think that it was quite as difficult to conceive of this hypostatical union taking place in a man full grown, as in an embryo in the womb. But Mr. Howes will certainly find something to say in support of so singular and favourite an hypothesis as that which he has adopted; and I am willing to wait his time.
In the mean time it is a particular satisfaction to me that this discussion is at length undertaken by Mr. Howes, who is unquestionably a scholar, and who is at the same time so expeditious in his motions; as we shall now see all that can be produced against my argument, and the learned will not long be in suspense with respect to it; and then, I hope, it will appear that Mr. Howes is greatly mistaken in his assertion, that no good ever arose from controversy. But if that was his serious opinion, how can he justify himself in engaging in this controversy, in which he is entirely a volunteer; and how comes it that every thing that he has written is controversial ? Both his Observations on Books, and his Sermon, are altogether such. Much as I have written in controversy, from the fullest conviction of the utility of it, (which at least justifies me to myself,) the far greater part of my publications are of a different nature.
* That the Unitarians were at first considered as no heretics, and afterwards as heretics, Mr. Howes represents (Pref. p. viii.) as “ an inconsistency above his comprehension.” How he can imagine this, is above my comprehension. But we shall, probably, have sufficient opportunity of explaining ourselves. (P.)
DEFENCES OF UNITARIANISM,
FOR THE YEAR 1786,
DR. HORNE, DEAN OF CANTERBURY,
TO THE YOUNG MEN,
WHO ARE IN A COURSE OF EDUCATION FOR THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY,
Universities of Oxford and Cambridge;
DR. PRICE, AND TO MR. PARKHURST,
The readers of this controversy concerning the person of Christ, will, I doubt not, congratulate themselves on seeing it in new hands, and in those of persons who promise to conduct it both with better temper, and with more knowledge of the subject, than it was done by Dr. Horsley.
According to appearance, we must now despair of hearing any thing more from the Archdeacon of St. Alban's.*
But this is not to be regretted, while such a man as the Dean of Canterbury has announced his entrance into the same field of combat, while Mr. Howes (though his motions are more tardy than he gave us reason to expect they would be t) re
• He, however, re-appeared as Bishop of St. David's. See supra, p. 298, Note I. † See supra, p. 314.