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pons are fair. The only exception appears to be, against those which are of "ethereal temper.'
Mr. Harvie's text was 2 Cor. vi. 15: "For what part bath he that believeth, with an infidel?" I might question the propriety and justice of such a text being taken by Mr. Harvie, having reference, as it certainly has, not to persons now called infidels, but to the practisers of idol worship. The passage, would, therefore, be more appropriate from a Unitarian than a Trinitarian, as all denominations unite in the adoration of God our Father. Mr. Harvie, however, employed the term infidel to designate the Christian Unitarian; and though truth was for a moment too mighty for his prejudices, and forced him to admit, that the "Unitarian was not an infidel in the strict sense of the word," yet, the dark cloud of bigotry soon obscured this passing gleam of charity, and the assertion was confidently made, that "the Deist and the Unitarian differed so little, that they might be properly classed together." No wonder that prejudice is rife, whilst such calumny is prevalent. The Unitarian and the Deist differed so little! A Deist asserts the Scriptures to be a fable -Christian Unitarians maintain, that they contain the history of the revelations of God. Many Deists contend that Jesus Christ never existed-Christian Unitarians believe that he lived for man's good and died for his salvation. A Deist contends, that if Jesus Christ did exist, yet that he was an impostor-Unitarian Christians gratefully acknowledge Jesus Christ to have been the way, the truth, and the life, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. A Deist holds the circumstance of Christ's resurrection, to be a romance and a lie-Christian Unitarians rejoice in the fact, as their hope and pledge of future never-dying existence. The Deist asserts the moral code of the Gospel, to be imperfect, and bad, and pernicious, and impossible to be practised-Unitarian Christians look on it, as the way to eternal life, and light, and blessedness. "Differed so little"! What is it to differ at all, if this be not to differ wide as the poles asunder? Shame to the man who could so pander to the prejudices of the ignorant, as to hazard his reputation on calumnies like this.
But, says Mr. Harvie, "the Deist is more consistent, as he rejects the Bible altogether, whilst the Unitarian denies the inspiration of parts of its contents." I see no consistency at all in the matter, for the cases are not ana
logous. Surely, the man who receives the Bible, as containing the history of God's dispensations to mankind, the rule of his faith and practice-and he who scouts the idea of the Deity ever having made a revelation of his will to his creatures, and looks on him who does so, as 66 an infidel to God," surely these two can never, with justice, be named in the same scale. To talk of the greater consistency of one of the parties, is to confound things necessarily and essentially dissimilar. Does not Mr. Harvie know, that men whose Christianity he cannot suspect, have also denied "the inspiration of parts of" the Bible? Does he not know, that various opinions are entertained, as to the nature and extent of Scripture inspiration? And are such men as Dr. Doddridge, and Dr. J. Pye Smith, and Dr. Dick (I name him to do him honour), to be put out of the pale of Christianity, because they likewise, with the calumniated Christian Unitarian, see not the inspiration of all the contents of Scripture history? I suspect, even Mr. Harvie's hardihood would blanch before so
sweeping an exclusion. His presumption, in speaking of a subject which he has evidently not investigated, can only be exceeded by his ignorant dogmatism.
Mr. Harvie's proofs of Unitarians being nearly infidels, were crowned by adducing Unitarian evidence as to the alleged fact. He affirmed, that Unitarians themselves were by no means disinclined to this alliance with infidelity, "for Priestley, on being told that Jefferson was nearly a Deist, replied that he wished he were quite a Deist, as he would then be nearer Unitarianism." I confess, there is nothing more readily moves my indignation, than defamation of the sacred character of the venerable dead. I hereby charge Mr. Harvie with defaming a man, as much his superior in theology and science, as he was in charity and knowledge. The averment in that sermon, is a downright and palpable falsehood. Intentional, I do not say it was. He may have been misled by other calumniators of that illustrious man; I hope, for his own sake, he was. But that is no excuse for his thus hurling the envenomed barb, against the moral reputation and Christian integrity of one of the most able and indefatigable defenders of Revelation. On the very front of it, the statement is as palpable a forgery, as is 1 John v. 7. To imagine for a moment, the Author of the Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion-Letters to a Philosophi
cal Unbeliever-the Comparison of Socrates and Jesus and many, many other defences of Christianity, could regret that a man was not quite a Deist, and regret it too, because if he exploded Revelation, he would be nearer in opinion to its upholder-to deem such a statement true, is worthy alone of a student in the school of him, who affirmed, "I believe because it is impossible!"
Did, then, the injured and calumniated Dr. Priestley, ever make any statement with respect to the celebrated Jefferson, that theological rancour could thus distort? Yes he did. What was it? In a letter to the venerable Theophilus Lindsey, which Dr. Priestley transmitted from America in the year 1803, he enclosed a copy of a letter he had received from Mr. Jefferson, written after perusing Dr. Priestley's work, "Socrates and Jesus compared." In that letter, Mr. Jefferson gives a sketch of a work he wishes Dr. Priestley to undertake, comparing Christianity with the various philosophical systems of antiquity, as also with Judaism. Of Christ and Christianity, he declares, among other expressions of eulogy, "his system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime, probably, that has ever been taught, and more perfect than those of any of the ancient philosophers. His character and doctrines have received still greater injury from those who pretend to be his special disciples, and who have disfigured and sophisticated his actions and precepts, from views of personal interest, so as to induce the unthinking part of mankind to throw off the whole system in disgust, and to pass sentence as an impostor, on the most innocent, the most benevolent, the most eloquent and sublime character that ever has been exhibited to man." And it is on this communication from Mr. Jefferson, that Dr. Priestley says, in his letter to Mr. Lindsey, "In my last, I promised to send you a copy of Mr. Jefferson's letter on reading my pamphlet, entitled' Socrates and Jesus compared.' The above is that copy. He is generally considered an unbeliever; if so, however, he cannot be far from us, and I hope in the way to be, not only almost, but altogether what we are. He now attends public worship very regularly, and his moral conduct was never impeached."
It is evident that this is no conversation, but a confidential correspondence. Does Mr. Harvie recollect no passage, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." "I would to God that not only thou but also all that hear
me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." Sees he no resemblance in the two cases? Yet such are the circumstances out of which Mr. Harvie has reared his charges of the connection of Christian Unitarianism with unbelief. Intérpreted by common sense, they give him not the slightest speck on which to rest the sole of his foot. Mr. Harvie has heard, perhaps, of the consequence of the blind leading the blind, and he may rest assured, that if he takes for granted the truth of indictments against the Unitarians, drawn up by mitred or unmitred libellers, he will often be entrapped into similar outrages on truth and charity. Let him ponder well this confession from a man of true candour, of genuine liberality, of ardent devotedness to Christian freedom and benevolence: it is that of the author of "A Plea for the Divinity of Christ," a work which has furnished many an individual with arguments in defence of that faith, which its writer, on subsequent examination, renounced as unscriptural. The passage occurs in a letter to Dr. Priestley, written by Robert Robinson of Cambridge: "I am indebted to you for the little I know of rational, defensible Christianity. But for your friendly aid, I fear I should have gone from enthusiasm to Deism; but a faith founded upon evidence, rests on a rock."
The defamation of Dr. Priestley did not end here. Mr. Harvie asserted, that Dr. Priestley had said, he "did not deem it obligatory on himself to believe that Christ created the world, merely because an Apostle had expressed it as his opinion." This charge, I presume, is founded on Dr. Priestley's remarks to Dr. Price, respecting the meaning of John vi. 62, but, as usual, is a gross perversion of his observations. It is in reference to an interpretation proposed by Dr. Price on that text, that Dr. Priestley puts some strong hypothetical suppositions, and not at all in reference to any positive declaration of the Apostle. On the contrary, in his remarks on that very passage, Dr. Priestley declares his conviction, "that no such opinion as that of Christ having been the Maker of the world, was ever taught by the Apostles, and, therefore, any interpretation of their writings, which implies their teaching it, must be wrong." But how totally different this, from the impression which Mr. Harvie's charge would convey to his auditors. me say, once for all, to Mr. Harvie, that if he has been reading Bishop Magee's vituperative volumes, he is bound
in justice to read also their Examination by Dr. Carpenter, and when he has done so (he shall have the book from the Unitarian Chapel Library, if he chooses), he must acknowledge, that in leaning on the lawn-sleeved arm of that prelate of Episcopacy, he has placed his dependence on a broken reed.
I shall not follow Mr. Harvie through that intolerant raving, in which he characterized "the Object of the Unitarian's worship, as only the figment of his own blinded mind"-" the God of the Unitarians, is limited in his knowledge, because they hold human actions to be contingent, and not foreseen even by the Almighty"—" I would as soon enter a Mahometan mosque as a Unitarian chapel, for I regard them equally idolatrous and ruinous to immortal souls"-"the prayers of a Unitarian are as the prayers of blasphemy and idolatry"-and more, much more, of the like description. Mr. Harvie may defile himself with such contumely, if he chooses. I pollute not myself by touching the unclean thing. If it were ignorance that dictated such expressions, I pity and compassionate the preacher; but if they were the result of wilful misrepresentation, may God forgive the wrong.
Mr. Harvie was exceedingly unfortunate in his selection of charges, whereby to overwhelm the Unitarians. Calumnies long since sent to the moles and the bats, he drew forth again from congenial darkness, and exhibited them in all their pristine absurdity and worthlessness. Amongst the rest, Mr. Harvie asserted, that Unitarians themselves have acknowledged the similarity between their own creed and that of Mahomet, for "in the reign of Charles II. they proposed a religious alliance with the Mahometans." Mr. Harvie! I challenge you to prove that which you here positively affirm. That in the library of Lambeth Palace, there is a manuscript which purports to be the Socinian epistle to Ameth Ben Ameth, ambassador from the Emperor of Morocco, to Charles II., I do not deny. That it bears the signature of a single acknowledged Christian Unitarian, much more of the Unitarians as a body, I dare Mr. Harvie to verify. Thomas Emlyn, the persecuted, but conscientious, high-minded, faithful Emlyn, thus writes to Leslie, who first made a "present" to the public of this " rarity:"- "Forasmuch as I can learn nothing from any Unitarians, of any such address from them, nor do you produce any subscribers' names, I