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God, be treated in any other light, than as a convenient mask, or as an insulting sneer.”

We make no comments upon language of this kind. It is far below our indignation. We only adduce it as an example, among many, of the manner in which the author of the work on atonement has allowed himself to speak of a class of his fellow christians, who as a body have been excelled by none, for their laborious, faithful, conscientious investigation of the scriptures; who have shown their reverence for the word of God by lives consecrated to its study, and ennobled and adorned by the spirit it enjoins.

A writer, who undertakes to censure with so much vehemence, the characters and views of a whole class of men, especially of his fellow christians, is bound to possess himself with the most accurate knowledge of the facts, on which he grounds his charges. Yet from want of this, Dr. Magee is betrayed into the grossest misrepresentations; and sometimes leaves to candour itself no other alternative, but that of ascribing to pure ignorance what could not otherwise escape a much more serious accusation. Several examples of this are given by Dr. Carpenter; [see particularly pages 105–112.] But ignorance is not to be pleaded as an apology for calumny. The law of charity is not to be violated with impunity, because a man's indolence or prejudice prevent his knowing the truth; and in one of the instances to which we have referred, even this poor excuse, it would seem, is precluded; for “on his own confession,” (says Dr. Carpenter, after a statement of particulars,) “ the Dean of Cork is convicted of bearing false testimony."

One of the artifices, to which Dr. Magee frequently recurs, is assuming for fact, that Unitarians are fairly represented by two or three individuals, as Dr. Priestley or Mr. Belsham; and selecting some of the most objectionable passages to be found in their works, and exhibiting them as the sentiments of the whole body.

This artifice, however, has been too frequently employed to avail much in any cause with men of common discernment or candour. “But what renders it here,” says Dr. Carpenter, “peculiarly disingenuous, is that Mr. Belsham expressly disavows the station assigned him by his adversaries as organ of the sect." In the third edition of his Review (1813) in a preface, containing the author's reply to animadversions upon this Review, and of the existence of which Dean Magee could scarcely be ignorant, Mr. Belsham explicitly states, “The writer of these Letters has no authority or desire to represent himself as the organ of any party or denomination of christians. He expresses his own sentiments explicitly and without reserve; and he trusts

P. 106.

calmly and candidly. No society, nor any individual, are in the slightest degree responsible for any thing which he has written."

On this subject, so often misunderstood or mistated, we think it proper here to remark. It will hardly be supposed, that christians, whose distinguishing peculiarity is the rejection of human authority in matters of religion, should rest with a blind confidence on the opinions of any of their fellow-christians, or that, holding sacred the injunction “to call no man Master upon earth, they should admit that their views could be fully represented by the views of any individual whatever. Unitarians profess to think and judge for themselves; and while they agree in the grand distinguishing doctrine of the complete unity and unrivalled supremacy of the only wise, living, and true God, there exists on many other subjects a considerable diversity of sentiment. There are many, who differ wholly from Dr. Priestley and Mr. Belsham in their views of the person of Christ, and the nature of his mediation : and there are many too, who, in general according with these gentlemen, are far from approving the expressions they have sometimes unhappily employed. We can all honour their labours, their talents, and virtues, (for they are many and great) while we reject some of their speculations, and regret the evil, that in some of their writings may be mingled with their good.

It is in his remarks upon some of the works of these gentlemen, and particularly of Dr. Priestley, that Dr. Magee has indulged to the extent his unfairness and illiberality. By mangled quotations, by affixing a meaning to the most important word, different from the author's meaning; by giving his own representation of the author's words, when he professes to give the words themselves; connecting distant and divided sentences into one quotation by these and similar artifices he has contrived to violate the simplest principles of controversial, and even common equity.

We will now offer a few, out of the multitude of examples which Dr. Carpenter has adduced, to substantiate his charges against Dr. Magee of gross inaccuracy, ignorance of facts on which he grounds his accusations, and wilful misrepresentation. We use this last, rather than a harsher term, because we fear our limits may not admit of presenting the proofs with the minute details, which such an investigation scems in justice to the party accused to demand. But should our readers go over, as we have done, the whole work of Dr. Carpenter, they would see for themselves, that the proper charge to meet the demerits of this celebrated dignitary would be, not ignorance, not inaccuracy, not prejudice only, but deliberate falschood. New Series - vol. 11.


The Dean of Cork often betrays the utmost ignorance of the circumstances and sentiments of the Unitarian body: and "I will cite one instance,” says Dr. Carpenter, “which will show how destitute of authority his work is, though it is considered as of great authority, and numbers form by it their opinions respecting Unitarians, as well as Unitarianism.

“ A Pamphlet was circulated hy the Glasgow Unitarian Fund, entilled, an Address to the Inquirers after Truth,' &c. This tract was reprinted in the Monthly Repository in London for August 1813, with a short account of its origin by the editor, and expressions indicating bis appreciation of its merits. Op these circumstances Dr. Magee founds the following statement:

“I am the more disposed to make some observations upon this pamphlet, because as far as I know, it contains the only defence of the Improved Version, that has been offered to the public iu a detached form; and because the body of English Unitarians have attributed to it so high a value, that not content with printing or circulating it at THE EXPENSE OF THE PUBLIC Fund, they have superadded the publication of it in their Magazine ; thus securing to it every degree of currency and credit, that it is the power of the Entire Body to bestow. Recognized and adopted in this manner by the WHOLE COMMUNITY of Unitarians, it is of course to be viewed as THEIR own authenticated and deliberate defence.' &c.Postcript, p. 9.

" If the Dean can produce," says Dr. Carpenter, “from the least esteemed of our writers, a passage parallel to this, in false reasoning and misrepresentation, he will throw greater discredit on us, than any evidence he has yet produced can warrant. For

(1.) The GLASGOW Unitarian Fund print and circulate the address. Froin this fact, the evidence of which is in the title page, the Dean asserts that the body of English Unitarians have printed and circulated it at the expense of their Public Fund.

“ (II.) The editor of the Monthly Repository, an individual, responsible to no one in the conducting of the Repository, and never acting in the name of the Unitarian body, but only for himself

, thinks highly of the address, inserted it in bis Journal. On this fact, and this alone, the Dean of Cork declares, that the Body of English Uni. tarians published the address in their Magazine; and by this means (in which they had no concern) securing to the tract every degree of credit, that it is in the power of the ENTIRE Body to bestow.

“ (III.) Upon the groundless assumptions, already stated, the Dean proceeds to maintain, that the address having been this recognized and adopted by the whole community of Unitarians, it is, of course, to be view d as their own authenticalcii and deliberate defence.”—The Tract was written by an individual, and the body never deliberated on the subject; and after it had been printed by a very small part of that bolly, the Glasgow Unitarian Fund, it was reprinted by another individual, who was responsible to no one but himself. And therefore, reasons the Dean, being thus recognized, &c.-Q. E. D.” pages !09. 111.

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Again, a notable specimen of this author's random sweeping censures occurs in his Postcript, p. 48. Having quoted some passages from Locke, to show that this eminent philosopher held views respecting the nature of Christ, which differ materially from those of the believers in his simple humanity, and another from Grotius, which few Unitarians would hesitate to employ, he asks, “What will be the reader's reflexions, when he learns that Mr. Belsham, Dr. Carpenter, and all their Unitarian FELLOW-LABOURERS claim these


writers as CONCURRING in their opinions concerning the mere human nature of Christ, and unblushingly assert this in EVERY PUBLICATION.'

“Wbat, I would ask in return,” says Dr. Carpenter, “ will be his reflexions, when he learns that the whole sentence is a tissue of false assertions. It is not true, that Mr. Belsham ever claimed Gr tius as concurring in his opinions touching the mere human nature of Christ. It is not true, that Dr. Carpenter ever claimed either Grotius or Locke, as concurring with him in those opinions. It is not true, that all their fellow labourers do so. It is not true, that we do so in every publication.” And for these assertions Dr. Carpenter appeals to their writings, and adds, “I will not attribute the falsehoods in the above quotation, to any thing but an unfortunate consusion of mind, produced by blind party zeal and personal resentment; but I say, that when a man can write thus, he forfeits all claim to un. suspecting reliance on his assertions, and ceases to be a credible witness in the controversy." p. 115 note.

We have already mentioned the unfairness and illiberality of Dr. Magee in his treatment of Dr. Priestley. It would be difficult within the limits of this article to set before our readers the various evidence, by which Dr. Carpenter establishes this charge, as it is derived from a minute comparison of different quotations from the two authors. Having shown, however, and we think to the entire satisfaction of every one, who will peruse tracts with common attention, that the sense in wbich Dr. Priestley uses the word “atonement” is in its highest sense, as equivalent with satisfaction, and especially when speaking of the “commonly received doctrine of atonement;" referring to it as to the notion of a “full satisfaction having been made to the offended God;" of an “ equivalent satisfaction;" and of the “sinability of God to pardon without an adequate satisfaction to his justice and the honour of his laws and government;" having shown, we say, by various proofs, that this is the only notion of atonement which Dr. Priestley combats, Dr. Carpenter remarks:

"Now the injustice of the Dean of Cork, and it is great, consists in this, that knowing, as he could not but know, the facts which I have stated, and himself (we beg our reader's attention to this point) him

the ex

self attaching to the term alonement ą nolion so little in opposition to Unilarianism, thai an Unįtarian may embrace it (as far as it is intelligible) withoui relinquishing his fundamental principle-he represents Dr. Priestley as arguing against this notion, against which he never does argue, and appreciates the value of all his arguments and positions by this standard of his own setting up." p. 159.

In other words, the Dean of Cork' declares, that Dr. Priestley opposes the doctrine of redemption by Christ,--though he held it and laid great stress upon it, in what he believed to be the scriptural sense of the term; altogether neglects Dr. Priestley's own explication of the term atonement; attaches to it one, in which as he must know, Dr. Priestley did not use it; and represents him as opposing the doctrine of atonement in the latter sense, when he knew that his arguments and statements all respected it in the former.

We might add to these several examples of unfair quotation. And it would seem indeed that the Dean might have been contented with taking words out of their connexion, or with omitting part of a sentence. But that he should quote as Dr. Priestley's words what Dr. Priestley does not say, one would have supposed impossible. This however he has done; and in the passage to which we refer, “has been guilty of two gross breaches of controversial equity. The first is, that the former clause which gives a peculiar colour to the second, no where occurs in the Essay from which it is said to be taken, though it is represented according to the Dean's own canon, (with respect to inverted commas as marks of quotation] as occurring in immediate continuity with the following clause;" and the second is, a repetition of the artifice we have already exposed.

We pass to one example--and it is the only one we select-of misrepresentation of Mr. Belsham.

" With an injustice," says. Dr. Carpenter, “ which is perhaps unrivalled in recent controversy, Dr. Magee asseris, that Mr. Belsbam rejects the notion of prayer; making man, as it were, independent of his Maker. This charge was made in the first edition of the Discourses and dissertations;' and it has been repeated in each succeeding edition.” p. 408.

We have before advanced what we deemed proper, as to our decided dissent from many of the views of Mr. Belsham. Dr. Magee bad an undoubted right to express his disapprobation, and had he confined himself to this, we should have found no cause for censure. But when, with a total disregard of all decency and truth, he presumes to place this gentleman, distinguished for the singular purity and integrity of his character, “among the unhappy blasphemers of the majesty of the Son of God,(Postcript, p. 30.;)

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