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mation to others, the author rests perfectly satisfied. In what degree, and to what extent, his humble efforts
may be honoured, as the means of contributing to the improvement of his fellow-creatures in knowledge and virtue, he willingly leaves to the Supreme Arbiter of events.
P. S. At the close of the First Part of this Inquiry it has been thought advisable to add a brief abstract of the controversy between Dr. Horsley and Dr. Priestley, concerning the doctrine of the primitive church, which it is hoped will at any rate modify the triumphant language which some zealots have lately used upon this subject; at least, if they have any regard to their literary or theological reputation, and do not altogether presume upon the ignorance and prejudices of their readers.
The UNITARIAN Society has done this Treatise the honour of admitting it into their Catalogue ; and has published a large impression of a second edition of the CALMINQUIRY in a cheaper form, in order to facilitate and extend its circulation. The Author has revised the work with care, and has introduced some corrections which were suggested by his own reflections, or by the remarks, friendly or unfriendly, of others. The variations, however, from the first edition of the work are neither numerous nor very material. The Author's original design was briefly, but fairly and candidly, to state the sentiments and the arguments of different parties in the important discussion concerning the person of Christ: and he is not aware that he has in
considerable degree failed of his purpose. The calm and temperate discussion of questions of high importance, he has found by experience to be the pleasantest and the most successful means of investigating
truth. And he is pleased to find that the method which he has pursued has been sanctioned by the approbation of learned and judicious writers, whose conclusions have not always coincided with his own. If this work should contribute in any degree, however inconsiderable, to promote a spirit of liberal and candid discussion
among persons of different persuasions upon controverted points, it will so far fulfil the primary intention and the best wishes of its author.
Essex House, November 16, 1816.
General Distribution of the Subject, p. 5.
Whether the Jews expected a pre-existent Messiah, p. 7.
Argument from the supposed miraculous Conception of Jesus.
The narratives in Matthew and Luke of doubtful authority, p. 8.
The fact, if proved, would not infer the pre-existence of Jesus, p. 9.
Texts which are conceived to express in the most direct and un-
equivocal Terms the Pre-existence of Jesus Christ.
Six out of the eight writers of the New Testament say little or
nothing of the pre-existence of Christ, p. 10—not even the historians
of his life and ministry, p. 11-not even Luke himself, who writes
the history of the apostles' preaching and doctrine for upwards of
thirty years, ibid. How this silence is accounted for by the ancients,
ibid. John, a figurative and mystical writer, p. 12. The pre-ex-
istence of Christ seldom alluded to in the larger epistles of Paul, ibid.
Texts in favour of this doctrine very few in proportion; but their
frequent citation makes them appear to be numerous and prominent,
I. John i. 1-14, examined, p. 14. Different hypotheses con-
cerning the Logos, ibid. The interpretation of Grotius adopted by
many modern Unitarians proposed and examined, p. 15. That of the
Polish Socinians stated and defended, p. 17.-II. John i. 15, examined,
p. 26. Mr. Cappe's explanation approved, ibid.III. John iii. 13,
examined, p. 26. The local ascent of Christ into heaven after
his baptism maintained by the Polish Socinians, p. 27. This hypo-
thesis modified by Mr. John Palmer, ibid. Explanation of Bishop
Pearce and Archbishop Newcome, p. 29. "To ascend into heaven'
is to be acquainted with the purpose and will of God, ibid. Proved
by Grotius, Beza, Whitby, Doddridge, and, above all, by Raphelius,
ibid. nole. * To come down from heaven,' as the correlate phrase,
properly signifies a commission to reveal the divine will, p. 31. Re-
flections upon this explanation of the text, p. 36.--IV. John iii. 31,
explained, ibid.-V. John vi. 25-62 expounded, p. 37. The de-
sign of Jesus was to drive from his society those who followed him
with selfish and secular views, p. 38. They first demand a sign from
heaven like the manna, ibid. Jesus promises true bread from heaven,
meaning his doctrine, p. 39. The Jews, understanding him literally,
eagerly desire this heavenly bread, ibid. Jesus declares that he is him-
self the bread from heaven, ibid. The Jews, knowing his extraction, are
offended at his pretensions to a heavenly descent, p. 40. Jesus persists in
declaring that he is the bread which they must actually eat to obtain im.
mortality, ibid. The Jews being still more confounded and offended,
ibid.- Jesus insists in still stronger language upon the absolute neces-
sity of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, p. 41. The Jews seem
to suspect him of insanity, p. 42 ;--and Jesus having further intimated,
as they conceived, that after his body had been thus consumed they
should see him again return to heaven, his selfish followers, shocked
at the apparent absurdity of his doctrine, abandon bis society, ibid. Je-
sus, in conclusion, declares that his whole discourse is to be taken figu-
ratively and not literally, p. 45.-VI. John viii. 42, explained, p. 45.
- VII. John viii. 58, explained, p. 46. Explanations of Guyse, Sherlock,
and Doddridge, p.47. Origin of the popular mistake of the words I AM,
p. 48. Arian interpretation, p. 49. Remarks of Dr. Clarke, Bishop
Pearce, Dr. Harwood, and Dr. Price, p. 50. Singular interpretation
proposed by the Polish Socinians, and revived in the Theological Repo-
sitory, p.53. Interpretation commonly received by the Unitarians, p.55;
- which best suits the connexion, p. 56;—and is justified by the lan-
guage both of the Old Testament, p. 57,--and of the New, p. 58.
Supported by Grotius, Beza, Hammond, Lardner, Cardale, Lindsey,
Wakefield, Simpson, &c., p. 62. Reasons for insisting so much at large
this celebrated text, p. 66.-VIII. John xiii. 3, explained, p. 67.
- IX. John xvi. 28, explained, ibid.-X. John xvii. 5, explained,
p. 68. Trinitarian interpretation, ibid. Arian interpretation, ibid.
Triumphant language of the Arians, p. 69. Unitarian interpretation,
p. 70. Error of expositors concerning the nature of that glory for
which Jesus prayed, p. 71. This prayer explained, ibid. The pro-