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IV. TESTIMONIES OF THE CHRISTIAN FATHERS.
1. That the Son existed before the Blessed Virgin
is one substance with the Father
is co-eternal with the Father
is subordinate to the Father in
no other sense than as God of
STRICTURES on the Unitarian Writings of the Rev.
Lant Carpenter, LL.D.
AT HACKNEY, &c.
Walking one evening in Hackney, many persons genteelly dressed passed with rather hasty steps ; and judging that they were ministers of religion going to some lecture, I followed the train. The number and appearance of the persons collecting, raised an expectation in my mind of edification, somewhat out of the common way.
On entering the chapel, there were no lights, though the sable awnings of the twilight were rapidly increasing to the shades of night. We cast on one another looks of surprise and expectation. The vestry door being open, some strong words were overheard among the presbyters and deacons, who had crowded in; they were words of surprise and astonishment, that so great an assemblage of ministers and others should have been convened, and no previous notice given to the pastor! No one could account for it. Some thought that a circular had been issued; but others said that they had been determined to come by some unaccountable impulse of the mind.
It was, however, seriously urged, that some of the seniors must preach, that so great and respectable a congregation, composed chiefly of strangers, must not be dismissed without an address.
Here a round of excuses were made, but in a more gentle tone of voice; they were chiefly excuses of modesty and deference. In the meanwhile, the chapel-keeper flashed up the lights in the pulpit; and all eyes being now raised, behold a venerable figure presented himself in the desk, the interesting aspect of whose countenance superseded all notices of a plainer dress. He was quite a stranger to the auditory, and yet every one thought he had known him in former years, or had seen somewhere a portrait that resembled him. On his right hand stood a figure somewhat diminutive, and, on the first view, less interesting ; but on regarding him more attentively, there were I know not what sweetness of intelligence, and engaging airs in his mien and aspect. This was more apparent when he stepped forward with a sort of prologue, to introduce his friend as the speaker, and to solicit their calm and patient attention to a discourse he was about to deliver, -a discourse they had specially been convened to hear.
Hearing this, the elders rushed out of the vestry, giving very inquisitive looks, first on the speakers, and then on individuals in the congregation ; after which they made their eager way to the first pews that offered,
The venerable character in the desk, with clear and mellifluous accents, which it were wished that thousands had heard, thus began, with an exordium of the greatest interest to those that were present:
“ Casting my eyes on this assembly, I seem to recognize the features of fathers, to whom my soul was united in the best of bonds. They were men sincere in principle, pious in sentiment, and decided in character. Many of them were descended from the martyrs and confessors of their country; and all of them had suffered obloquy on account of their religion. Having made the Bible, and the Bible only, the pillar of their faith, they nobly scorned to bow the knee to the tyrannies and idolatries of papal Rome. An ancestry so faithful and dear to God, is the highest honour that posterity can enjoy. They are as the names of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, to the promised race,-names to which an offended Heaven once yielded, and sent fire from heaven to accept the oblation of Elijah, offered through faith in Him who was to come.
“On this ancestry I would congratulate you today, as the hopes and heirs of your fathers, did not other sentiments forcibly obtrude. A liberátion from the faith and practice of your fathers, seems now to have become your first glory and chief boast. You even have the effrontery to excuse their weakness, on the ground that the present controversy (according to White) was not then agitated. I would congratulate you on the affluence and splendour, the promised blessings of the covenant with which you apparently are connected, did not the aspects of a desolated sanctuary call for tears rather than joys. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do ? How can I rejoice at the splendour of your equipage and courtly appearance, while that wicked Ahaz has thrown the altar behind the