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takers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Be careful, however, to do this in the spirit of Christian charity, which should be extended to all men, but especially to all that bear the Christian Consider them as men who are in an error which is always involuntary. Endeavour to remove the prejudices they unhappily lie under, but forbear all angry reproaches, all insult, and even ridicule; for religion is a serious thing, and brotherly love is the very essence of it. And if this love is to be extended even to enemies, much more should it be indulged towards our merely mistaken friends.
The author of this Address entirely approves of Mr. Lindsey's Liturgy, or that which was used at the Octagon Chapel in Liverpool; and he would recommend responses, especially to societies formed in this manner, in which it is particularly desirable that the members, being nearly on a level, should each bear his part in the service. But lest some, from the force of habit, should not be able to reconcile themselves to the use of a Liturgy, and object to the scheme on that account, he has drawn up, and published, a set of Forms for all the occasions of a Christian society.
Printed by RICHARD TAYLOR,
UNITY OF GOD;
AND AGAINST THE
DIVINITY AND PRE-EXISTENCE
FROM REASON, FROM THE SCRIPTURES, AND FROM HISTORY.
BY JOSEPH PRIESTLEY, LL.D. F.R.S. &c.
PRINTED BY RICHARD TAYLOR, RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET. SOLD BY ROWLAND HUNTER, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.
UNITY OF GOD.
1. ARGUMENTS FROM REASON AGAINST THE
THAT the Doctrine of the Trinity could ever have been suggested by any thing in the course of nature (though it has been imagined by some persons of a peculiarly fanciful turn, and previously persuaded of the truth of it) is not maintained by any persons to whom my writings can be at all useful. I shall therefore only address myself to those who believe the doctrine on the supposition of its being contained in the Scriptures, at the same time maintaining, that, though it is above, it is not properly contrary to reason; and I hope to make it sufficiently evident, either that they do not hold the doctrine, or that the opinion of three divine persons constituting one God is strictly speaking an absurdity, or contradiction; and that it is therefore incapable of any proof, even by miracles. With this view, I shall
I shall recite in order all the distinct modifications of this doctrine, and show that, upon any of them, there is either no proper unity in the divine nature, or no proper trinity.
If, with Dr. Waterland, and others who are reckoned the strictest Athanasians, (though their opinions were not known in the time of Athanasius himself,) it be supposed that there are three persons properly equal, and that no one of them has any sort of superiority over the rest, they are, to all intents and purposes, three distinct Gods. For if each of them, separately considered, be possessed of all divine perfections, so that nothing is wanting to complete divinity, each of them must be as properly a God as any being possessed of all the properties of
man must be a man; and therefore three persons possessed of all the attributes of divinity must be as properly three Gods, as three persons possessed of all human attributes must be three men. These three persons, therefore, must be incapable of any strict or numerical unity. It must be universally true, that three things to which the same definition applies can never make only one thing to which the same definition applies. And when by the words thing, being, or person, we mean nothing more than, logically speaking, the subject or substratum of properties or attributes, it is a matter of indifference which of them we make use of.
Each of these three persons may have other pro