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Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Ifrael
PARLIAMENT SQUARE, EDINBURGH.
The idea of this work was firlt suggested by a letter which appeared, under Dr Priestley's signature, in one of the London prints, about four years ago. The delign of this letter was to state that, although some years had elapsed fince the publication of his History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Cbrift, no answer had been given to it; and that, if the same silence Thould be observed during a certain time which he is pleased to limit, he would consider it as an acknowledgment, on the part of the whole Chriftian world, that it was unanswerable.
For a considerable time, I befitated, expectingthat some more able combatant would enter the lilis 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 ine to engage in this work; and, notwithstanding various difccuTagements, to proceed in it. The fatal influence of the Socinian scheme, in throwing open the fluices to Infidelity, and in hurrying forward those whom this torrent has alIcady swept away; the fascinating power which it insa
riably discovers, in bereaving its votaries of all that dirin. guishes Christianity but the name ; their unwearied aliduity in extending the delusion; with its ra, id progress in this age; undoubtedly lay the strongest obligations on every one who really believes the gospel, to exert himself to the utmost, according to his place or ability, for the preservation and defence of the truth as it is in Jesus.
It seems to be the plan of modern Socinians, to carry the controversy as much as polible out of the boundaries of Revelation. The voluminous and inaccurate works of the Fathers afford them a more ample field for misrepresentation, for cavilling, or at least for conjecture. Therefore, as far as the nature of the work would admit, I have e deavoured to restore the controversy to its proper limits. With this view, I have not only considered the principal arguments from scripture contained in the History, but occafionally introduced others which Dr P. has published distinely; especially as he refers to these for further illuitration.
Considering the many able replies that have been formerly made to writers of the same class, to some this work may appear superfluous. But error, although still substantially the same, assumes a diversity of forms in diferent periods. This has been remarkably the cale with respect to the Socinian heresy. 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 reasoning proceeded. In the last century, they acknowledged that the Logos was a person, and athrmed that this perfon was the mere man Jesus Chrilt. They now maintain that the same Logos is merely an attribute of God. Then they worthipped the Son. Now they refuse that he is entitled