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"PAUL" SHEWN TO BE NO "UNITARIAN;"
UNITARIANISM PROVED TO BE ANTISCRIPTURAL
ORIGIN, DOCTRINES, AND TENDENCY:
TO MR. ROWNTREE'S "REPLY"
HIS FALLACIOUS STATEMENTS ARE REFUTED, AND HIS
REV. W. B. CLARKE, A. M.,
MINISTER OF LONGFLEET.
"I have endeavoured to unravel Sophistry, detect Fallacies, and take off disguises, in order to set the Controversy upon a clear foot; allowing for the mysteriousness of the subject. The Gentlemen of the New Way have hitherto kept pretty much in generals, and avoided coming to the pinch of the question. If they please to speak to the point, and put the cause upon a short issue as may easily be done, that is all is desired." WATERLAND.
MESSRS. RIVINGTON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
"There never was any age, wherein the Heretics did not say, that the Church had changed its doctrine; nor was there ever any time, wherein they were not confuted, first, by Scripture, and secondly, by Tradition, that is to say, by the testimony of authors, who lived before the rise of those heretics. When we object to them any passages of Scripture, they try whether they can make thereof any compound or disjunctive Syllogisms: they study Geometry and Logic, and pervert the simplicity of the Faith taught in the Holy Scriptures, by their false subtilties, which is the common character of all heretics."-[Writer against Artemon, in Eusebius, v. 28. A.D. 150,-quoted by Du Pin, i. 68 ]
"To the Law and to the Testimony let the Appeal be in the first place; and next to the united suffrages of the primitive Churches, as the best and safest comment upon the other. On these two pillars will our faith for ever stand, firm and unmoveable, against all attempts; whether of vain philosophy, to batter the doctrine, or of vainer criticism to corrupt or stifle the evidence and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."-[Waterland's Second Defence, p. xxiv.]
HERE is an old saying, "discretion is the better part of valour."
Mr. Rowntree has deemed it prudent to issue a reply to "The Reviewer Reviewed," in which his criticism of Mr. Dudley's sermon, on Col. i. [16, was handled, certainly, with no intended personality or ill will, however it may read to the author of the discourse on 2 Pet. iii. 15, 16. Whether he has been really prudent in provoking an ANSWER to his reply, is his affair, and not mine.
He makes a stir about anonymous publication, and is pleased to hint, that an advantage was taken of him thereby, and that it was unfair, if not actually dishonourable. It will be as well to blow the dust out of his eyes on this score, before we proceed further. The tone of Mr. Rowntree's discourse was, evidently, that of a person who wished a circulation and perusal of his lucubrations,-such it appeared to me; and, as no vehicle is so likely to extend a writer's fame, be it for good or for bad, as a review of his labours, there being no means of the kind in Poole, one was expressly originated in his honour; and thus Mr. Rowntree's learning might have slept in undistinguished repose on the shelf of his publisher, but for this attempt to give him a wider introduction into the critical world. If, in so doing, any injury has been done to his sensibility, let these remarks remove all idea of wilful attempt to gain an advantage over him. The fashion in England of anonymous reviewing, was not, however, the invention of the writer of these pages; and, for his part, he would gladly see the custom of the French adopted in this country; and let every man, whether author or reviewer, stand or fall by his own credit. But, in the present instance, there has been no concealment;-the author of " the Reviewer Reviewed" made no particular secret of it;-nor was silence enjoined upon the publisher, except to a certain point, and that, because of no unfairness to Mr. Rowntree, of whom he has no personal knowledge, never having even seen him in
the flesh, but from a motive of a different kind,—a motive which did not originate in "anonymous abuse," but in a desire to prevent the possibility of personality. He hopes, however, that whatever advantage might accrue to Mr. Rowntree from the "signature," will not be the less, because it is appended to this, instead of a former canvass of Mr. Rowntree's opinions. Mr. R. appears to attach much importance to such matters, for he says, "I did not take the precaution to shelter myself from any reply, which the author of the "Sermon" might have thought fit to have made, by fixing to my "remarks" an anonymous signature." (p. 4.) Oh! dear no-the whole object of Mr. R. appeared to be to write himself into notice, and by so doing, to increase his recruits in Hill street. Anonymous signatures would have spoilt the sport. But do not let him deceive himself in this, as in other points;-it was not fear of a reply which induced the adoption of the office of reviewer,-for, with favour be it spoken, Mr. R. is not such a formidable opponent as he imagines himself, at least, if I am to judge by "the Remarks," and "the Reply," a boy of 16, with such knowledge of Greek, as boys of that age generally possess, and a little common sense, would be able to crack Mr. Rowntree's critisisms, as far as I have seen, as easily as the critical squirrels, (of which his friend, Mr. W. J. Fox, speaks,) who crack the nuts which they find in the tree of life! I have no fear
with the little pebble of scriptural truth, and the sling of honest zeal, to come to this Philistine of Hill street, as David did to Goliath of Gath; "for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give it into OUR hands."
In matters of doctrine, (the subjects being so awfully important,) neither the celebrity of Mr. Rowntree's fame is likely to advance his interpretation of them, if that be wrong; nor is the humility of my name likely to add lustre to the interpretation which the church espouses, if that be right; whatsoever may be the upshot of the affair, whether Unitarianism do or do not accord with the Gospel of Christ, Mr. Rowntree's name, in my humble judgment, has not advanced it a whit nearer to the true standard; nor will mine add renown to a cause already renowned by the testimony of prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and the triumphs of the great and good, for 1800 years.
-" the SECOND LARDNERS, as spruce academics call one another, who speak contemptuously of popular preachings, and seem to think the tree of life only planted for critical squirrels to crack nuts in its branches." (See Fox's Letter to the Old Unitarian, p. 39.)
As for the dignified epithet of "anonymous ABUSER," (p. 5,) it does not anger me in the least ;-my difference of opinion is not respecting PERSONS professing doctrines, but respecting DOCTRINES professed by persons; nor will I quarrel with Mr. R. about this or any thing else. Whatever advantage he may derive from exciting me to strong language, he is welcome to:-I hope it may be found to counterbalance the disadvantage of the said "abuser" having been "anonymous!" So far from wishing ill to Mr. R., I attempted to do him, and others, a service. Believing that he is in error, yea, (let him not be offended,) in heresy,(for if HE is not in error and heresy, -I am, as he will tell me, and with me, the church of England-and all the Romanist and Protestant Churches of Europe, Asia, and America, and all orthodox dissenters likewise,)-believing, I say, that he is in such error, I endeavoured to shew him, and through him those whom, in my opinion, his doctrines mislead, that path to truth, which, I cannot help thinking, he has abandoned; and if such be abuse, let the consequences follow, as fast and as thick as Mr. Rowntree's imagination may pour upon me the hail of his indignation. I attempted to set him right; if I have not succeeded, it is the fault of my deed and not my will, and of the weakness of the advocate and not the injustice of the cause. I appeal from Mr. R. himself to a writer of his own persuasion-an "Old Unitarian,” and will rest with him my defence on this head.
"To liberate them from speculative error, and from the slavery of prejudices, which when pursued to their conse"quences, must materially injure their mental peace, is a "most desirable object. Now this object is set at an immea"surable distance by the language and deportment of several "modern champions of the Unitarian faith, who, when they cannot persuade, appear to think that they have done something, by producing irritation and alarm. If they "entertain the hope of spreading THEIR HERESY, (mind this, an old Unitarian calls modern Unitarianism HERESY!)' through the world by dint of numbers and physical force, "their plan of operation, although not very promising, might "be considered as not wholly unsuitable to the end in view, "inasmuch as the generality of mankind are more disposed "to yield to vehemence than to any other attribute or quality "in a speaker or writer; but, on the supposition of a different object, it is, of all others, the least likely to succeed."Monthly Repository, May, 1817.