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These remarks are submitted to X. Y. Z. and it is referred to him, whether the love of Christ doth not stand in the scriptures, wholly independent of the idea of his preexistent glory. That idea may be allowed to supply a motive, a ground for the duty : but the duty ariseth from other considerations; and wherever it is motioned, is not inculcated by that argument.
IN LETTERS TO A FRIEND.
AN attempt, you are sensible, has been made, to party off the force of the general argument stated in the preceding Letters. It has been said, that I have “ rejected the ground of argument used by the “ author of “The Calvinistic and Socinian Schemes “Compared,’ and thus have given up the contro“ versy, as it respects the moral efficacy of prin“ciples *.” I have been represented as “studiously “ evading Mr. Fuller's argument #: as endeavour“ing to shift the ground of controversy, and, “ without refuting a single argument advanced by
[* Protestant Dissenter's Magazine for June, 1798, p. 30.j
[+ Evangelical Magazine for January, 1797, p. 28.] G 5 Mr.
Mr. Fuller, contenting myself with showing, that the preaching of the Apostles produced the happiest effects; and then assuming that they were Unitarians, attributing these effects to the Socinian doctrine”.” Mr. Fuller himself has laboured to
possess his readers with the same view of my piece.
So far,” he says, “from trying the strength of his arguments, I have not so much as looked him in the face. On the contrary,” he adds, “though the practical efficacy of the Unitarian doctrine is the title of his performance, yet he acknowledges his design is to supersede the examination of that comparison into which I had fully entered:—that is, to relinquish the defence of the practical efficacy of his principles, and reason upon another groundt " He charges me, therefore, with begging the question, shifting the ground of the controversy, and virtually giving up my cause as indefensible.”
It is no unusual thing for writers, to consider the
answers they have received as not coming home to the arguments, which they have urged. Dr. Morgan, in the second volume of “The Moral Philosopher,” assured his readers, that Dr. Leland, who was a judicious and close respondent, had not said one.
word to the purpose; and that which he had offered against him was mere impertinent declamation and harangue. The verdict, which an author, or his friends, pass on the performances of his opponents, comes under a suspicious form. It is not an unbiassed sentence. It may be the mere exultation of self-applause. It may proceed from the partiality of self-love. It may be art, to prejudice readers against the respondent: or it may be a friendly interference to prevent their attention being given to a piece, which, through the impertinence of the argument, would only mislead them. The duty of readers, to whom the subject of the controversy appears important and interesting, and who would form a just judgment of the respective merits of the combatants, is to read and compare the respective
pieces for themselves. : These remarks apply, with propriety, to the present case: on which various and discordant cpinions are before the public. Mr. Fuller, it may be presumed, has great satisfaction in having his own judgment concerning my argument confirmed, as we have seen, by the sentence of his seconds. But I can also allege testimonies in favour of the strength and pointedness of my reasonings, to sanction myself-applause, and my assuming the tone of victory. One is pleased to speak of me as writing “with great perspicuity, “candor and good sense: and as showing by a “series of pertinent quotations and judicious illustra- G 6 “tions,