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"when the apostle John faid, Chrift is come in the flesh, I John iv. 2, Dr. Priestley takes the liberty to make this very material alteration, and fays, that the apoftle meant to fay, Chrift is come of the flesh." The fact however is, that Dr, Priestley has faid no fuch thing. In the paffage to which Dr. Hawker alludes, the word of is substituted instead of in, without any comment; and if we may believe Dr. Prieftley, it was on his part quite unintentional. Dr. Horfley, indeed, has charged him with having altered the expreffion with a view to the improvement of his argument, to which Dr. Prieftley makes the following reply, with which if Dr. Hawker had been acquainted, he would not have mifreprefented him in the manner he has done. "I am forry, Sir, that my printer, or my own niftake, should have given you all this trouble. I do affure you, I had no knowledge of having made a change in a fingle word in copying that text, nor fhould I have wifhed to have made any change at all in it; thinking that, as it now ftands,

Dr, Priestley's Hiftory of the Corruptions of Christianity,
Vol, i. p, 10,

ftands, it is quite as much for my purpose as that which you fuppofe I have purpofely fubftituted in its place."* Surely no perfon can be qualified to pass a judgment upon any controverted point, when he has read only the arguments on one fide of the queftion.

And here the author cannot help obferving that, though he is perfectly willing to rest the decifion of the controversy folely on the teftimony of fcripture, being firmly perfuaded that its uniform declarations can be explained only on unitarian principles, he is not of opinion with Dr. Hawker that the fentiments of the early chriftians make nothing either for or against the point in question. If it can be proved that they did not believe the doctrine of our Lord's deity, it could be only because there was nothing in the accounts which they received from the apostles to lead them to fuch a belief. And of these accounts they furely must be allowed to have been the best judges; having received them before there was a poffibility of their being corrupted, and being much bet


Dr, Fricfley's Letters to Dr, Horfley, p. 11, 12.

ter acquainted with their phrafeology than any chriftians now can be.

That Dr. Hawker, in the publication of his fermons, was influenced by the most upright motives, not a doubt can be entertained; and his zeal in what he apprehends to be fo good and important a caufe, is certainly very commendable. It is also a pleafing circumstance, that upon the whole he has difcovered fo much liberality of mind, not connecting, as is too often the cafe, the favour of God with a belief only in his own opinion, but expreffing his hope that the unintentional error of every humble and fincere mind will be pardoned.

While the ignorant, the indolent, and the interested, may defpife, or affect to defpife controverfies of this nature, and reprefent them as too trifling to deferve the attention of mankind, to every real well-wisher to the christian cause, they will appear in a very interefting light. If Jefus Chrift be God Moft High, he ought to be acknowledged and adored as fuch; if not, we ought to tremble


at the idea of afcribing thofe attributes and works, and that worship to another, which is due to God only; who is jealous of his honour, and who has declared that he will not give his glory to another.

It was this conviction of the importance of the queftion which, no doubt, induced Dr. Hawker to publifh his fermons, and which now induces the author to animadvert upon them. them. He hopes that the fame conviction will influence their refpective readers to examine the subject with that seriousness and impartiality which its importance demands. Whatever effect may be produced upon their minds by the prefent publication, he will be able to confole himself with the rectitude of his intentions, and with the persuasion, even should he be mistaken, that, in thefe enlightened times, it is impoffible for the caufe of truth to fuffer from any well meant attempts which are made to promote it.


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