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in a ' coitrtdf justice , and this we may certainly consider the unkiriddst act of all , inasmuch a& it is raised against uk by brother Dissenters . One vtfould have thought it was eridugh for the Orthodox Dissenters to reflect , that their body had once so
far forfeited their claim to the title of advocates of religious liberty , as to be instrumental in excluding their Antitrinitarian brethren from the pale of toIeVatidn j and it cannot but be strange to see part of their body ( after the ? legislature' has opened the door
to iis ) the first to contend that the inrddlgeiice is a dead letter , and to contest the grand principle on which their own liberties and privileges mainly rest , viz . that when the pu > nishrtfent imposed by the law has ceased , the crime ceased with it .
Of the ground on which Mr . Shadwell argued that Unitarianism was indictable at common law , every one can novv fully judge . The reader will learn from Justice Aslrhurst , the ground on which the Christian religion forms part of the law of England , and
he will observe , that if by the Christianity which Hall and Raymond speak of protecting , We are to-understand the Churcii of England , or any thing but * the sfnrtrjle belief in the revelation through Christ , of the will of God to m&ri , and the divine authority of the
SerrptuVes , we are merely reviving the old'law of heresy , and making' it of temporal , nbt * spiritual jurisdiction ; all Which hns been most carefully girded against by the great Judges froth'Whbsb words was taken the garbfed proposition upon whicli the argurhefit was built . The Statuie 19
G ^ o . I IT . is of itself decisive evidence , tlrat ^ he sim ple ' belief in the Vevelatibh of thei wfll oPGod , and the divine authority of'the Scriptures , is all that the lavv ^ requifes , or consider ^ essential for tefxifibriiV purposes . With Regard to the principal c * ondufc ^ or of the cause to which ! am
ndW * alluding , whose name we all justty venerate , and are , therefore , sofrV to see so engaged , I can only hiht ^ here ( though I think it due to hiffi ^ rid ourselves to go so far ) , that he and the reportei * of that ' case are , in soW ^ 'tne ^ stireV at issue' as to the
argurnent used by him on that occasion ; but I am happy to add , that it arises from the ; disavowal , on his
part , of all adoption or use on that occasion , of the notion , that impugning the doctrine of the Trinity is an offence at common law ; and that it was with surprise and indignation he then , for the first time , heard of the prosecution which proceeded on that notion .
The argument * which he used , as counsel in tHai case , was rested , it is said , by Him on the ground that ( although the maintenance of these opinions be tolerated , and no longer punishable ) , yet there still remains enough ofFence to prevent the Court
of Ch ' ancery from protecting their institutions by administering their trusts . This argument , it willbe observed , is one that would have prevented the Court of Chancery from administering any Dissenting trust , and applies to us
only in common with all Dissenters . The common law offence being given up , the whole argament , as it affects Unitarians , distinct from the general body , is given up ; and we shall not be afraid to contend that JLord
Mansfield and the several Judges who have disallowed it , were justified in so doing , particularly as we should then have to maintain our proposition in common with our brethren , who have so kindlv brought us into the dilemma . E . T .
No . C ^ CCXIT . Jjishop Berkeley * s Appeal to a Sceptic You ar 6 then a downright Sceptic . But , Sceptic , as you are , you own it probable there is a God , certain that the Christian religion is useful , possible it may be true , certain that if it be ,
the Minute Philosophers ( by whom he means Free-Thinkers ) are in a bad way . This being the case , how can it be questioned what course a wise man ^ should take ? Whether the principles of Christians or Infidels are truest may be made a question , but which are safest can be none .
Certainly , if you doubt of all opinions you must doubt of your own } and then , for ought you know the Christian may be true . ' The more douTbri the more room there is for faith , a Sceptic of all men having the least rigti ^ to demand evidence . But , vyfiiu > ever uncertainty there maV bi in otheV
Gleanings . 547
gleanings ; oh , selections and . . . ¦ ¦ * ¦ n REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE OF GENERAL , READING .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Sept. 2, 1817, page 547, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2468/page/35/