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ferder to qualify myself more thoroughly for a faithful and use- * ful discharge of my duties as a ministring servant of Jesus Christ , But I soon found that the system of religion , called Orthodox , and established by Constantine in the fourth century , owed its origin solely to the paganism of the converts of the second and third centuries , and was so far from being taught by the apostles , as the religion of the Christian covenant ,- that it was the very apostacy from it ^ which they predicted would very early take place , and at length be signally and utterly destroyed at the glorious coming of the Christ , to assurrre ^ tiis promised kingdom of this world , for the coming of which he taught his disciples constantly to pray . Under this ^ conviction , I should immediately have quitted the church , as I did afterwards , if the circumstances of the times , and the apparent disposition of the people to attend to rational arguments upon the subject , had not induced the sanguine hopes of my
inexperienced mind , into a persuasion that it was probable , that the petition of a large body of the clergy for a reform of the Liturgy , then designed to have been presented to the legislature , together with such irresistible arguments , as I then fondly thought I could urge to the public , might produce a considerable reform both of the creeds , and book of Common Prayer * With this view , in the year 1772 , I published the Examination of the Doctrines of a Trinity , &c . addressed to the King * as head of the legislature and of the church , having previously determined to separate from the church if no such reform was made . This determination I avowed , in a private letter to the
Archbishop of Canterbury , in October of the same year , stating the rise of my first scruples , with the grounds of them , and requesting his grace to favour . me , by means of his secretary , with any satisfactory information in his power , that might assist me
m removing those doubts , and enable me to remain conscientiously in my office as a minister of the gospel , to which I was attached , not only by inclination , but by many other motives ^ and particularly the well-founded expectations of powerful interest for my promotion in the church ; but to this letter , I never
received any answer . " With these views of the Christian doctrines , it was more than probable that Mr . E . would sometimes in his sermons , from a sincere desire to instruct his hearers in the great truths of genuine Christianity , preach in opposition to the creeds and orthodox articles of the church , which in fact was the case , and
from which a few of the congregation , who were orthodox , led on by Mr . Havard , a violent intolerant bigot , then town-clerk of Tewksbury , commenced a prosecution against him in the ecclesiastical court : the ; ' following were the cireumstancQs
Mev . Edward Evanson , A . m . %
B 2 ^
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1806, page 3, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1720/page/3/