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Mrs . Cappe on the late Mr * Cappe ' s Opinion of the Miraculous Birth of Christ . Sir , In a note annexed by Mr . Belsham in his interesting Memoir of my late excellent friend in Essex Street , to his account of the controvers ^ in the Theological
Repository , on the miraculous birth of Christ , ( p . 235 / he deduces an inference of which it is necessary that I should take some notice , and as I know of no medium
through which I can do it with so much effect and propriety as that of your valuable publication , I request you will do me the favour to insert the following explanation .
The worthy author of this able and most valuable memoir , giving me full credit for not willingly concealing any thing which might tend to develope or establish important truth , concludes from my not * having given any intimation to the contrary in " The Life of
Christ /* that Mr . Cappe never changed his opinion on that subject . This inference proceeds on the assumption , that " the narrative of the miraculous birth of Christ is placed ( by the notes ) < € upon a par with the rest of the evangelical history . " Now , Sir ,
in this assumption , I must beg leave to point out a mistake ; — the notes , as far as I can understand them , do not enter at all into ' the controversy , or incline either to one side or the other .
They do indeed demonstrate thai the author never relinquished his belief in the authenticity of the
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controverted chapters , but this was far from involving in it as a consequence , that he never changed his opinion respecting rhe dectrine supposed to be contained in them . Not being aware that any such
deduction could be made , I was far from feeling the necessity of guard - ing against it ; but now , finding that in this I was mistaken , I
consider it as a duty , incumbent upon myself , as the publisher of these notes , to state briefly , as far . as I am acquainted with it , what was actually tbe progress of the author ' s mind on this intricate subject .
When the controversy of the miraculous birth was begun by Dr . Priestley , in the Theological Repository , Mr . Cappe most carefully studied the arguments on
both sides , in connection with the question how far the chapters were genuine in which the doctrine was supposed to be contained ? The'first result was a still more
decided belief in the truth of the doctrine itself , as well as in the authenticity of the disputed chapters , and he accordingly wrote a treatise , stating the arguments at considerable length which had led to this conviction . This treatise
he laid aside for some ncru . according to his usual habit , that he might return to tji ^ subject again ai a future period , as free as possible from prejudice , or th »
influence of preconceived opinion * And here may 1 be allow * < 1 to pause for a moment , in order to remark respecting the ch # » aofler of all thr scriptural investigation * of my late honoured husband ,
BIBLICAL CRITICISM .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1813, page 37, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2424/page/37/