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upon him the office of a monitor, and, if I may
be allowed fo to speak, of a tutor to you, on the present occasion.
He hereby does no more than discharge the duty which one man owes to another, and I promise myself that I shall have you agreeing in sentiment with me. But whether another person, who has condemned him so highly in this matter, has acted a candid and wise part towards him and you, we are next to examine.
Of the Undergraduate's letter to Dr.
Priestley. It was no unpleasing circumstance to observe in this letter, that Dr. Priestley's address to you had gained some degree of attention, and was likely to gain more. Such a curious device, so speedily put in execution, without any argument, and merely in
way of drollery, to deter you from looking into his writings, betrayed great apprehensions left
you might be inclined to peruse them ; especially when it was by no means clear from the first, that the letter originated with you. For though the writer some
times passes himself off tolerably well in that respect as one of you, his manner of defending the cause he espouses, discovers the strong bias and prepossessions of an older head too much, to make the deception natural.
It soon began therefore to be whispered about, that under the humble name of undergraduate lay concealed a person of eminence in the university, and the rumour foon grew into a very general persuasion, , which no one that I can find calls in question, that it was the composition of no less a person than the learned president of Magdalen college, and dean of Canterbury ; who, by a very venial artifice and anachronism, chose to make himself pass for one of you, as he formerly had been such, the better to answer his purpose. And though the tendency of his work be to shut
you up in darkness, and ignorance of a subject of all others the most important, all your lives; yet I conceive him to have written from a pure design of serving you, and of promoting what he apprehends to be right. For his general character and practice bespeak
him a good man, and it appears very particularly from his other publications, that he is not only a sincere believer in, but a wor, Thiper of Jesus Christ as God Almighty, and this in an extraordinary manner, beyond many: and therefore, not to mention other fubjects of wide difference, he must be greatly hurt with, and to the utmost of his power endeavour to turn you away from writings, whose aim is to prove from scripture, and the testimony of Christ himself and his apostles, and the general persuasion of christians in the earliest
that our Lord was only a most virtuous and excellent creature, the messenger and prophet of the most high and only true God, a mortal man of the nation of the jews, and family of Abraham and David.
The doctrine embraced, and pleaded for, by Dr. Horne, being not taught in the bible, as has been often shewn, and will be seen hereafter in this work; yet being drawn in almost with your first breath (of which I may speak from some experience) from nurses, parents, creeds, catechisms ; inculcated daily in prayers, public and pri
vate; bound upon you afterwards by a subscription to articles of faith, framed by ignorant and fallible men, by whose decifions nevertheless you are to abide and to interpret the scripture itself by them, so that all avenues of free inquiry into its meaning are shut up: under such early impresions and influence, it must have been with great pains and difficulty that any have emancipated themselves, and come at the truth in this point.
That these fetters which are now in youth comparatively light upon your minds, may be taken off; and particularly, that you may
be enabled to form fome judgment purely your
when own, you
knees in prayer,
your whether you are to address yourselves to three eiernal, almighty perfons, or to one such perfon only ; Dr. Priestley directed his first letters to you, at the close of those inscribed to the dean of Canterbury, composed in a strain of good fenfe, piety and benevolence, justly admired; and now again, at the inftant I am writing, he has shewn the weakness of the arguments, which the same worthy person under his feigned name of
Undergraduate, Undergraduale, had advanced, in reply to him, and in plea for your remaining under these chains of subscription for ever. It will be my talk to acquaint you with the defective accounts, and misrepresentation of many things, which this your pretended brother-undergraduate's prejudices have led him into, such as I do not find noticed by Dr. Priestley.
Subscription to the creeds and articles of the church, a grievance long complained of.
, Archbp. Tillotson's wish concerning Athanalius's creed. Curious history of a contrary temper in the present day. Of Mr. Locke's sentiments. Of Dr. Clarke's. Of Mr. Whiston's. The candid disquisitions. The clerical petitioners at the Feathers. Clerical assembly at Tennison's library. Of Dr. Durell's sentiments. Of Bp. Lowth's.
NOTHING is more difficult than to alsume a character that belongs not to us,