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declare your

propriety, be directed to the virgin Mary, as to the person of our Lord;" you proceed to say, “that I refer my readers to Mr.Lindsey,” who hath laboured at great length to prove, that prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ is not authorised in the writings of the new Teltament; and

you your intention of examining what he has advanced upon this subject, in the same order in which he hath proposed it, for the purpose of trying whether it is sufficient to justify the conclusion I have drawn thence.

This examination is comprised in the following pages, to the 55th inclusive. In the 56th, which is the last page bat one of your letter, you write as follows: “ To conclude then, if my interpretation of the places in scripture be right, it follows, fir, that your position " that the addresses of christians may, with the same propriety, be directed to the virgin Mary, as to the person of our Lord,' is far from being true.”

With respect to the preceding passages, I trust it will be esteemed sufficient for me to observe, that all these alertions, and conclufions, proceeding upon the idea of my having actually referred my readers to Mr. Lindsey's publication for a proof of my pofition, are absolutely destitute of all foundation.

My pamphlet may easily be obtained. I appeal from your assertions to the book itself. My declaration, respecting the propriety of addressing prayer to Christ Jesus, will be found as you have quoted it, but without a single word of reference to Mr. Lindsey, or to any other person.

The proper unity of God, and the unlawfulness of addressing prayer to Christ Jesus, are very different questions. The great Socinus very ably defended the former queftion, and, at the same time, attempted to refute the arguments of Franciscus Davides, who maintained the latter. I have spoken with approbation of Mr. Lindsey's arguments, respecting the proper unity of God, but have not referred to, or declared either my approbation or disapprobation of his reasonings, respecting the impropriety of religious addresses unto Christ. The design of my publication has been intirely misapprehended. Upon re-perusing of it, you may


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perceive, that it was not my intențion to engage in controversy, but chiefly to affign the reasons, which induced me to relinquish my station in the church of England. I declared that I resigned my preferment because I held opinions diametrically opposite to those, on which the established form of public worship is founded. I declared and unfolded these opinions without reserve ; but this circumstance laid me under no kind of obligation to maintain them by argument: my private persuasion of their truth was a sufficient reason for my conduct,

But had it been my intention to enter into the principles, upon which my opinion respecting the point in question is founded, it is not probable, that I should have contented myself with referring to Mr. Lindsey's publication, however highly I


his arguments, and respect his authority. I should also have thought it my duty, to have endeavoured to establish the truth of so important a position by such deductions, as at least would have convinced


readers, that I had not taken up my opinion without fome reflection on the subject; and should


unquestionably have referred, perhaps very largely, 'to those passages in the sacred writings, which, in my apprehension, would enable my readers to determine the question for themselves. It has long been my persuafion, that we pay too much deference to the opinions of men, respecting religion; and too little to the word of God, from which alone all our ideas respecting the gospel ought to be deduced. In the lectures I gave upon the evangelists, during my residence at Cambridge," I always endeavoured to convince my pupils, that it was their duty to make as much use as posible of their own reason, when einployed in exploring the genuine sense of scripture. Not that I would presume myself, or would advise others to reject the lights, which the labours of learned men, engaged in the same pursuit, from time to time, have holden forth to'us; on the contrary, I think it necessary to avail ourselves of every aslistance we can procure, but, at the same time, i would always press the use of private judgment; by which I would be understood' to mean, the exercise of a judgment intirely


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unbiassed by authority, and free from every kind of prejudice, such as becomes every man, in a case, which to every man is of private concern.

This freedom of the mind, from the exertion of which the most glorious consequences would be derived to society, I hold to be ef-' sential in constituting the character of a true protestant. The invasion of it, by any human authority, how respectable soever, I esteem as an outrage against the majesty of heaven; as it tends to deprive the almighty of the

proper homage of his creatures. I have contended, and to the latest hour of my life will contend for its establishment, in its most unlimited extent; and I protest against the ungenerous policy, which at the present moment, under pretence of zeal for the interests of christianity, really aims at establishing the empire of the magistrate over conscience, and of thereby subjecting the noblest faculties, and endowments of our nature, to the luft of lawless power, the most baneful pafsion of our frame.

But at the same time that I think it incumbent upon me, to correct the false con


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