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IN REPLY TO DR PRIESTLEY'S HISTORY
OF EARLY OPINIONS, &c.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
BY JOHN JAMIESON, D. D. F. A. S. S.
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, FORFAR.
Behold, this Child is fet for the fall and rifing again of many in Ifrael
Omnes hæretici perverfa credentes, panem de cœlo defcendentem co-
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THE idea of this work was first suggested by a letter which appeared, under Dr Priestley's fignature, in one of the London prints, about four years ago. The defign of this letter was to state that, although fome years had elapfed fince the publication of his Hiftory of Early Opinions concerning Jefus Chrift, no anfwer had been given to it; and that, if the fame filence fhould be obferved during a certain time which he is pleafed to limit, he would confider it as an acknowledgment, on the part of the whole Chriflian world, that it was unanfwerable.
For a confiderable time, I hefitated, expectingthat fome more able combatant would enter the lifts against this literary giant, who has defied the armies of the living God. But a full conviction that I have truth on my fide, emboldened me to engage in this work; and, notwithstanding various difccuragements, to proceed in it. The fatal influence of the Socinian scheme, in throwing open the fluices to Infidelity, and in hurrying forward thofe whom this torrent has already fwept away; the fafcinating power which it inva
riably difcovers, in bereaving its votaries of all that diflinguishes Christianity but the name; their unwearied affiduity in extending the delufion; with its rapid progress in this age; undoubtedly lay the ftrongeft obligations on every one who really believes the gospel, to exert himfelf to the utmoft, according to his place or ability, for the prefervation and defence of the truth as it is in fefus.
It feems to be the plan of modern Socinians, to carry the controversy as much as poffible out of the boundaries of Revelation. The voluminous and inaccurate works of the Fathers afford them a more ample field for mifreprefentation, for cavilling, or at least for conjecture. Therefore, as far as the nature of the work would admit, I have endeavoured to restore the controverfy to its proper limits. With this view, I have not only confidered the principal arguments from fcripture contained in the Hiftory, but occafionally introduced others which Dr P. has published diftinctly; especially as he refers to thefe for further illu itration.
Confidering the many able replies that have been formerly made to writers of the fame clafs, to fome this work may appear fuperfluous. But error, although ftill fubftantially the fame, affumes a diverity of forms in different periods. This has been remarkably the cafe with respect to the Socinian herefy. Those who now appear as its friends deny the force of the reasoning of many former writers, because they have renounced the grounds on which that reafoning proceeded. In the laft century, they acknowledged that the Logos was a perfon, and affirmed that this perfon was the mere man Jefus Chrift. They now maintain that the fame Logos is merely an attribute of God. Then they worthipped the Son. Now they refufe that he is entitled