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the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians 119 3 Browse Search
Historic leaves, volume 3, April, 1904 - January, 1905 2 0 Browse Search
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the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, Introductory Sketch of the early history of Unitarianism in England. (search)
nity, and it remained nearly a dead letter, till long after it had been actually swept from the statute book, when it occurred to the promoters of a recent attack on Presbyterian endowments to make it the basis of an argument not less inconclusive than it was illiberal and unjust. The writers of these anonymous tracts approached most nearly to the system of Socinus; but in the succeeding age, the learning and high reputation of Clarke and Whiston in the Church of England, and of Emlyn and Peirce among the Dissenters, led the greater part of those who quitted the standard of orthodoxy to embrace the Arian hypothesis. This accordingly appears to have been the system generally adopted by most of the eminent lights of the rational dissenters who are commemorated in this volume. In the larger, and perhaps the juster, sense of the word, however, we include them all under the denomination of Unitarians, inasmuch as they agreed in the great principle of acknowledging one, and but one, obj
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, Thomas Emlyn (search)
by whose instrumentality God created the material world. He therefore espoused what has since been called the High Arian hypothesis, in which he continued during the rest of his life. In these sentiments he agreed nearly with Whiston, Clarke, Peirce, and many other eminent divines of that and the immediately succeeding age, whose celebrity for a long period gave the Arian scheme the preference over that of Socinus. When James II. was driven back to France, and affairs in Ireland assumed on and eminence, particularly Dr. Samuel Clarke and Mr. Whiston; who nearly agreed with him in religious opinions, and the latter of whom had suffered for his principles, though not to the same extent. In 1726, on the death of the excellent Mr. James Peirce, of Exeter, it was proposed to invite Mr. Emlyn to become his successor. As soon, however, as he was acquainted with it, he requested them to desist, thanking them for their respectful attention to him, and excusing himself from accepting
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, James Peirce (search)
h the true spirit of the gospel of peace. Mr. Peirce was the son of respectable parents in good cseveral years in each of these universities, Mr. Peirce returned to England, and shortly afterwards mphlet being circulated with great activity, Mr. Peirce, in 1707, published A Eight Letters to Dr. Whis work Dr. Nichols attempted no reply, and Mr. Peirce thought the controversy at an end, till, somthe most substantial citizens of the place. Mr. Peirce's invitation appears to have been not only uitively refused to make any declaration; and Mr. Peirce, in the account he has left of these proceedthese declarations; but in about two months, Mr. Peirce and his two colleagues were waited on by the one God with the Father. I told them, says Mr. Peirce, as to their article, I would own that Chrison of the keys of the meeting-house in which Mr. Peirce and Mr. Hallet were accustomed chiefly to of p. 398. The minority which retired with Mr. Peirce and his colleague were, however, by no means[36 more...]
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, Hallet. (search)
. It is by no means improbable that some of them both went further than their tutor in the adoption of heterodox sentiments, and were considerably less discreet in divulging them. Mr. Hallet, after his ejectment, continued joint pastor with Mr. Peirce of the seceding congregation, till his death in 1722, when he was succeeded by his son, already mentioned, the best known and most eminent of the three. He was born in 1692. For a short time he was associated with his father in the conduct ofined at that period by several eminent advocates of revelation, particularly among the Dissenters, with Morgan, Collins, Tindal, and other deistical writers. He has been already mentioned as having continued and completed the imperfect work of Mr. Peirce on the Epistle to the Hebrews. To this work he has prefixed an elaborate dissertation on the disputed questions as to the authorship of this Epistle, and the language in which it was written; adopting the conjecture that it was originally writ
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, James Foster (search)
ractice. Nothing would convince him short of reason and argument. Mr. Foster began to preach in the year 1718, when the violent ferment of religious bigotry which terminated in the expulsion from their charges of his tutor and his colleague Mr. Peirce, was rapidly coming to a crisis. And we cannot doubt that, independently of the personal influence of his instructor, who was so deeply involved in this memorable struggle, the naturally enlarged and liberal mind of Foster would lead him to tadition of salvation, and therefore utterly fails in both the criterion by which we are to estimate the claims of any tenet to be included in the catalogue of supposed fundamentals. Here and elsewhere the author espouses the Arian principles of Peirce and Emlyn, which the talents and well-earned reputation of these distinguished men rendered almost universally prevalent among the English Anti-trinitarians of that period; but the exposure of the leading tenets of Calvinism, and particularly of
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, George Benson (search)
wish that some person similarly qualified would continue the work on a similar plan, and in the same enlightened and liberal spirit. We have already seen that Mr. Peirce, in the latter part of his life, entered upon this labour, and gave to the world an exposition of the Epistles to the Colossians and Philippians, with part of tus, which were followed in the succeeding year by the second Epistle to Timothy; thus completing, when taken in connexion with the previous labours of Locke and Peirce, the entire series of St. Paul's writings. To these were added dissertations on inspiration,—on the abolition of the ceremonial part of the Mosaic law, and on thtaken as a whole, it is not, perhaps, too much to say, and it is a high commendation, that it is not unworthy to be ranked as a sequel to the labours of Locke and Peirce. It immediately placed the author's name at a high point in the catalogue of liberal, rational, and learned theologians—a station which he did not forfeit by his
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, Samuel Chandler (search)
for public institutions, before public bodies and societies, and on other remarkable or extraordinary occasions. His published sermons, however, are distinguished for a strength and clearness of argument addressed to the thinking part of his audience, rather than for any peculiarly ornamental style or flowers of eloquence to captivate the multitude. They shew him, in common indeed with his other publications, to have been, in theological sentiment, an Arian of nearly the same school with Peirce, Benson, and other distinguished ministers of that day in the Presbyterian denomination. But he does not appear to have taken any public part in the Trinitarian controversy, which, in fact, was not brought very prominently forward during the greater part of his active life. The most remarkable of Chandler's controversial writings are his replies to some of the leading Freethinkers of his day, particularly Collins and Morgan. His publications in this controversy are numerous and important;
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, Dissenting Academics. (search)
before the public as an author in his lifetime. If he did not, it can excite little surprise, when we consider the importance and multiplicity of his other occupations. About twenty years after his death, (which occurred in 1754,) the volume of sermons already mentioned was published under the superintendence of Mr. Willets, from whose very brief prefatory notice of the author the preceding particulars have been derived. The sermons shew him to have been an Arian of the same school with Peirce, Chandler, and other liberal divines among the Presbyterians of the earlier part of the last century; and they are productions not unworthy to be ascribed to one whose chief study was that of the Holy Scripts tures of the Old and New Testament; for which he was eminently qualified by a penetrating understanding, critical skill in the learned languages, and a good acquaintance with history and antiquity. Besides Mr. Willets, Messrs. Hawkes and Blyth, of Birmingham, Fownes of Shrews. bury, T
the Rev. W. Turner , Jun. , MA., Lives of the eminent Unitarians, Micaiah Towgood. (search)
of health, and the means of usefulness, to a very advanced age. At this period, the controversy of which we have already given some account in the memoir of Mr. Peirce was but just brought to a close; and its unhappy effects in diffusing animosity and personal jealousy among many, who till then had not thought their differenceons of dissenters at James's Meeting and Bow Meeting, Exeter. The two former of his destined colleagues were the same who had taken such an active part against Mr. Peirce and Mr. Hallet thirty years before; but the very invitation of Mr. Micaiah Towgood was in itself a proof that the spirit of the times, by a gradual and impercepned the distinguishing tenets of the Calvinistic and Trinitarian theology. His views on these subjects appear to have coincided for the most part with those of Mr. Peirce and the leading Arians of the early part of the last century; or, perhaps, in some particulars he deviated further than they did from the standard of what is ca