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than God the Father, with whom, on the scheme of the doctrine of the Trinity, they must have known that they had less immediate intercourse. But prayers to Jesus Christ were not used in early times, but gained ground gradually, with the opinion of Christ being God, and the object of worship. Maxim 14. H. O. vol. 1, p. 36.

6. Athanasius represents the apostles as obliged to use great caution not to offend their first converts with the doctrine of Christ's divinity, and as forbearing to urge that topic till they were first well established in the belief of his being the Messiah. He adds, that the Jews, being in an error on this subject, drew the gentiles into it. Chrysostom, and the Christian fathers in general, agree with Athanasius in this representation of the silence of the apostles in their first preaching, both with respect to the divinity of Christ and his miraculous conception. They represent them as leaving their disciples to learn the doctrine of Christ's divinity, by way of inference from certain expressions; and they do not pretend to produce any instance in which they taught that doctrine clearly and explicitly. Maxim 13. H. O. vol. 3, p. 86, &c. H. C. p. 12.

7. Hegesippus, the first Christian historian, him-' self a Jew, and therefore probably an Ebionite, enumerating the heresies of his time, mentions several of the Gnostic kind, but not that of Christ



being a mere man. He moreover says, that in travelling to Rome, where he arrived in the time of Anicetus, he found that all the churches he visited held the faith which had been taught by Christ and the apostles, which, in his opinion, was probably that of Christ being not God, but man only. Justin Martyr also, and Clemens. Alexandrinus, who wrote after Hegesippus, treat largely of heresies in general, without mentioning, or alluding to, the Unitarians. Maxim 8. H. C. p. 8. H. O. vol. 1, p. 265.

8. All those who were deemed heretics in early times were cut off from the communion of those who called themselves the orthodox Christians, and went by some particular name; generally that, of their leader. But the Unitarians among the gentiles were not expelled from the assemblies of Christians, but worshipped along with those who were called orthodox, and had no particular name till the time of Victor, who excommunicated Theodotus; and a long time after that Epiphanius endeavoured to give them the name of Alogi. And though the Ebionites, probably about or before this time, had. been excommunicated by the gentile Christians, it was, as Jerom says, only on account of their rigidi adherence to the law of Moses, Maxim 5. H.C. p. 14. H. O. vol. 1, p. 238. vol. 3, p. 258.

9. The Apostles creed is that which was taught to all catechumens before baptism, and additions were


made to it from time to time, in order to exclude those who were denominated heretics. Now though there are several articles in that creed which allude to the Gnostics, and tacitly condemn them, there was not, in the time of Tertullian, any article in it that alluded to the Unitarians; so that even then any Unitarian, at least one believing the miraculous conception, might have subscribed it. It may therefore be concluded, that simple Unitarianism was not deemed heretical at the end of the second century. Maxim 7. H. O. vol. 1, p. 303.

10. It is acknowledged by Eusebius and others, that the ancient Unitarians themselves constantly asserted that their doctrine was the prevailing opinion of the Christian church till the time of Victor. Maxim 2. H. C. p. 18. H. O. vol. 3, p. 296.

11. Justin Martyr, who maintains the pre-existence of Christ, is so far from calling the contrary opinion a heresy, that what he says on the subject is evidently an apology for his own; and when he speaks of heretics in general, which he does with great indignation, as no Christians, and having no communication with Christians, he mentions the Gnostics only. Maxim 12. H. C. p. 17. H. O. vol. 1, p. 169.

12. Irenæus, who was after Justin, and who wrote a large treatise on the subject of heresy, says very little concerning the Ebionites, and he never calls them heretics. Those Ebionites he speaks of

as believing that Christ was the son of Joseph, and he makes no mention of those who believed the miraculous conception. Maxim 12. H. C. p. 15. H. O. vol. 1, p. 274.

13. Tertullian represents the majority of the common or unlearned Christians, the Idiota, as Unitarians; and it is among the common people that we always find the oldest opinions in any country, and in any sect, while the learned are most apt to innovate. It may therefore be presumed, that as the Unitarian doctrine was held by the common people in the time of Tertullian, it had been more general still before that time, and probably universal in the apostolical age. Athanasius also mentions it as a subject of complaint to the orthodox of his age, that the many, and especially persons of low understandings, were inclined to the Unitarian doctrine. Maxim 4. 10. H. O. vol. 3, p. 265. 1:14. The first who held and discussed the doctrine of the pre-existence and divinity of Christ acknowledge that their opinions were exceedingly unpopular among the, unlearned Christians; that these dreaded the doctrine of the Trinity, thinking that it infringed upon the doctrine of the supremacy of God the Father; and the learned Christians made frequent apologies to them, and to others, for their own opinion. Maxim 10. H. C. p. 54. H. O. vol. 3, p. 262, 277. 4. 15. The divinity of Christ was first advanced


and urged by those who had been heathen philosophers, and especially those who were admirers of the doctrine of Plato, who held the opinion of a second God. Austin says, that he considered Christ as no other than a most excellent man, and that he had no suspicion of God being incarnate in him, or how “the Catholic faith differed from the error of Photinus" (one of the last of the proper Unitarians whose name is come down to us), till he read the books of Plato; and that he was afterwards confirmed in the Catholic doctrine by reading the Scriptures. Constantine speaks with commendation of Plato, as having taught the doctrine of " a second God, derived from the supreme God, and subservient to his will.” Maxim 11. H. C. p. 20. H. O. vol. 2, p. 37.

16. There is a pretty easy gradation in the progress of the doctrine of the divinity of Christ; as he was first thought to be God in some qualified sense of the word, a distinguished emanation from the supreme mind, and then the logos or the wisdom of God personified; and this logos was first thought to be only occasionally detached from the Deity, and then drawn into his essence again, before it was imagined to have a permanent personality, distinct from that of the source from which it sprang. And it was not till 400 years after that timne that Christ was thought to be properly equal to the Father. Whereas, on the other hand, though

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