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reserve to ourselves all the speculations about the manner in which the three persons are united.
I conclude this specimen of the variety of opinions, and of the kind of language which you may expect to find in ancient and modern writers upon the Trinity, with mentioning the books from which I have derived most assist
The best writer in defence of the Catholic system of the Trinity is Bishop Bull. His works are published in a large folio volume, more than half of which is filled with the three following treatises : Defensio fidei NicenæJudicium Ecclesiæ Catholicæ-Primitiva et Apostolica Traditio. All the three respect the Trinity, and are often quoted by succeeding writers, who borrow the greatest part of their matter from this very learned and able divine. His principal work is, Defensio Fidei Nicenæ, which consists of four parts. 1. The #gouragšis, pre-existence of the Son—2. To ouoouQlov, consubstantiality of the Son—3. to Guvcüdov, his eternal co-existence with the Father. 4. His subordination to the Father. Bishop Pearson, in his Exposition of the Creed, gives the same view of the Trinity with Bishop Bull; which is the true Athanasian scheme ; and he states it as he states every other point in theology of which he treats, with clearness, with sound judgment, and with much learniug. Dr. Cudworth, in that magazine of learning, which he calls the Intellectual System, gives a full view of the Christian and the Platonic Trinity. If you consult, when you read him, the ingenious and learned notes which Mosheim has added to his Latin edition of Cudworth, you will be preserved from some errors, and your views of the subjects treated will be much enlightened and improved. When you come down to the last century, Dr. Clarke's Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity is the first book which will engage your attention. As a collection of texts upon the subject it is most useful; as a view of the opinions of the ancient church it is to be read, for the reasons which I mentioned, with suspicion ; and as the argument of a very able and acute man, upon a subject which seems to have been near his heart, it is proper that you should read at the same time what was said by his opponents. There are two books by Dr. Waterland. The one, Sermons in Defence of the Divinity of Jesus Christ; the other, A Vindication of Christ's Divinity. And there is an excellent book, not so controversial as Dr. Waterland's, which should be read by every student of divinity, A Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity, by Dr. Thomas Randolph. Dr. Randolph opposes the principles of Dr. Clarke. But he writes directly in answer to a small book entitled, An Essay on Spirit, which presents a modification of the Arian system. You will read with pleasure a rational intelligible history of Arianism, which Dr. Jortin, who is very far from having any prejudice in favour of the Catholic system, gives in the third volume of his Remarks on Ecclesiastical History. I referred formerly to Ben Mordecai's Apology by Taylor. You will find many able attacks upon all the parts of the Catholic system, in the works of Mr. Thomas Emlyn.Mosheim, in his valuable work, De Rebus Christianorum ante Christianum Magnum, gives the most complete information as to Sabellianism, and the other early systems of the Trinity; and his Church History joins to a short account of all the variety of opinions upon this subject, references to the authors who have treated of them more largely. Mr. Gibbon has introduced into his second volume a history of the Arian controversy, in which he professes to delineate the three systems of the Trinity. But it displays the same inveterate prejudice against religion, and the same constant endeavour to turn into ridicule every branch of that subject, which disgrace so large a portion of the writings of this illustrious historian. Some of the books which I have mentioned will prepare you for reading this part of Gibbon, by enabling you to discern where his account is lame or unfair. Lardner, Priestley, Lindsey, and the other Socinians of later times, incline to the Sabellian system, and employ every art to represent the other two as contrary to Scripture, to reason, and to the opinions of the primitive church. They have been attacked by many modern writers. But
will need no other antidote to their heresy than the volume of tracts by Bishop Horsley, a formidable antagonist, whose superiority in argument and in learning gives him some title to use that tone of disdain which pervades the volume.
It consists of a charge to the clergy of his Archdeaconry, exposing the errors in one of Dr. Priestley's publications ; of letters to Dr. Priestley, occasioned by his reply to the charge; of a sermon on the incarnation, and of supplemental disquisitions.
Of other writers who have published particular schemes of the Trinity, I am almost entirely ignorant. From the short accounts of their works which have come in my way, I found that their schemes are only certain modifications of the first or the third systems, by which ingenious men have attempted to satisfy their own minds, or to remove the objections which others had made ; and knowing well that, after all our researches, difficulties must remain, and that these difficulties furnish no argument against the truth, I thought that my time might be employed more profitably than by labouring to fix in my mind their nice discriminations, which it might be difficult to apprehend and impossible to retain.