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The author of the following sheets was a gentleman of great worth, and considerable learning; a pious and good man, who was desirous of worshipping God and forming his religious notions according to the instructions of divine wisdom. Accordingly, he spent a number of years “in examining the sacred “ writings of the Old and New Testament, with the utmost “ desire, and most ardent prayer, that he might be rightly in. “ formed in the truest sense of the holy authors of those divine “ books.” He was zealously attached to truth, and the honour of God; and these he endeavoured to promote, to the very utmost of his power. He was fully persuaded in his own miniof the truth of his sentiments concerning God and JESUS · Christ. He founded them upon the sacred scriptures, for which he had the highest veneration : he considered the sacred authors of the Bible with great attention, and a sincere endeavour to understand their true meaning; and according to the result of his most diligent and candid examination, he believed. He looked upon scripture to be the best and most infallible expositor of scripture; and therefore paid but little regard to any human scheme or explanation: and he thought himself thoroughly justified to his own conscience in taking his notions of God from the word of God alone. These are his words: 6 I think, I write, I speak, upon this important article, viz. “ that the God and FATHER of Jesus Christ is the only true “ God, with a clear understanding and a clear conscience. I “ have no doubts, no scruples: no fear of offending God, or .6 displeasing Christ: no secret misgivings that I am or may be 5 mistaken : but a full and entire persuasion, that this founda“ tion is most certain and infallible. I doubted early of the “ vulgar scheme; to solve my doubts, I read the holy scrip“ tures, and them alone, for many years, with the greatest at“ tention and caution; with all earnest desire of finding the “ truth; without any bias, prejudice, or prepossession. I had “ been bred up in great reverence for the ancient fathers, and “ the venerable names of Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Cran“ mer, &c. I preserve still a great but cautious veneration for " these excellent persons: their memories will always he sacred " with me, for those glorious attempts they made to rescue the
“ Christian religion from Romish error, idolatry, and supersti“ tion. But they can no longer impose upon me with their
authority, though they may affect me with their reasonings. “I will now be no Cranmerian, Lutheran, or Calvinist, Christ “ is my master, and the holy scriptures my rule and only stan“ dard of divine truth. Fathers and councils, synods and con“ vocations, ancients and moderns, both learned and holy men, “ are my fellow-servants: I embrace them as helps, but I will “not follow them as infallible guides: I know none such but “ the holy scriptures, &c."
The sheets now offered to the public were in the press before the author died; and his manuscripts were delivered to the editor with his own hand. Had he lived, he designed to have made the work much more extensive, and to have considered the various parts of the Christian religion, in the same manner as he has considered the attributes, &c. of God.
That part of his design which is perfected, I, in compliance with his earnest request, present to the public, desiring that the book may be read with candour and attention, and (as the author expressed himself a few days before he died) most ar
dently wish, that it may have the same good effect upon the “ well-disposed minds of the present learned and inquisitive age, " as it had upon himself.” I have nothing more to add, but that I have honestly published the work, just as the author left it, without making the least alteration, even in favour of my own sentiments.
MR. LINDSEY'S PREFACE '
The reader is here presented with a book of extraordinary merit. Its subject is important, if any can be so called; especially in the present state of things, in the Christian world, aod in our own country. The design of it is to shew, from the sacred writings, that there is but one God, one single per. son, who is the God and parent of the universe, to be acknow. ledged and adored by all; and at the same time also to vindicate his moral character and perfect benevolence; that he is of himself kindly disposed and propitious to his offending creatures, and requireth no interference of any other being, nathing but their own repentance and amendment, to restore them to his favour,
The proof of these points, but chiefly of the former, is attempted, not merely from the illustration of those particular passages of scripture, which are apprehended to have been commonly misunderstood and misapplied in both these respects; but from the consideration of all the passages of any moment where the Divine Being is mentioned, and of all the qualities and titles ascribed to bim; together with a discussion, where needed, of all the language that is used, and even of every word of consequence employed, on these subject:.
And under the different heads treated of (which, barely to read over in the Table of Contents, cannot but excite something more than curiosity) the conclusions are strictly drawn from the premises, with the precision and accuracy of a geometrician, and with a plainness and clearness level to the most ordinary capacity, and such as will satisfy the highest.
And although the book, upon the face of it, carries the appearance of deep learning, from the explanation of some Greek terms in the New Testament, which may at first sight affright those from the reading of it who are unacquainted with the dead languages; yet there is in reality hardly any part which may not be useful to, and readily understood by, the attentive. English reader.
The like method is observed in the second division of the work; in what relates to the character and offices of Jesus Corist And the several different propositions, concerning this appointed Saviour, and Lord, and Master of Christians, are supported by circumstances of internal evidence, which are easily comprehended, and afford the most solid and convineing proof of all others.
In short, here are the materials, collected with great labour, and skilfully arranged and put together, from which a true judgment is to be formed of these matters, which are of great concernment to every one.
I shall offer one sample of the manner of the writer, not stize diously selected, but such as presents itself in turning over the leaves. It consists of a series of conclusions which he draws from this position, viz.
“God the Father, and the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, " and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, are the “ frequent style and characters of the one true God in the New 66 Testament."
After a copious enumeration of texts in confirmation of the position, these following inferences are made:
“ N.B. 1. It is very remarkable, and deserves a higher and “ stricter attention than hath been given by these last degene. “ rate ages, that St. Paul, St. James, St. Peter, St. John, and “ St. Jude, have, in the foregoing passages, carefully observed “ an uniform style, in speaking of and worshipping Gov. “ God the Father is the current and frequent form made use " of by these five sacred writers, and particularly in the salu“tations addressed to the Christian converts of the apostolic “ age.
" 2. It is evident, that the apostles who wrote, and they có who were written to, were very well acquainted with this • form of words, the Gov and Father, &c. as being the fami-' “ liar and ordinary terms they used in speaking and writing in " the apostolic age,
*** 3. And it is most certain, that these forms of speaking, •6• God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,' are never used by " the four evangelists, or the other sacred writers, in any one “ piace or passage throughout the New Testament. And yet “ these unscriptural, these antiscriptural forms are very fami“ liar, and in common use, in the writings and worslíp of the “ Athanasian heretics and apostate tritheists of thçse niost cor“ rupting and corrupted later ages. i “4. It is also most observable, that although in the great « apostacy of the Christian churches from some of the doctrines “ of Jesus Christ and his apostles, many and warm disputes. " have arisen, and still continue in most parts of Christendom, “ about the nature, person, &c. of the Son and Holy Ghost; yet “ it hath never been questioned, but in all times, and among all
parties of Christians, it hath been constantly held and main
tained, that the Father is God. This greeat truth hath ever s stood firm, aud unquestioned, among all the trinitarian and “ tritheistic sophisters. And if the Father be Gon, he must be “all-sufficient, and possessed of all perfections: Yet the most “ perfect and all-sufficient Father is not God enough in their *" creeds; but they want and acknowledge two more, to com.. o plete their antiscriptura), tritheistic doxology: Now to God o the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,' &c.
" 5. By these words, God the FATHER, being always used * by the sacred writers, in apposition (as the grammarians “ speak], it is evident, and most certain, that, according to “ the custom of all known languages, the word Father is a “ term applied to the word God, to denote and define expressly * who was their God. And they having never once used these « words, God the Son, and Gop the Holy Ghost,' in apposi« tion, certainly demonstrates, that they had not from Christ " and his apostles any authority to use in their writings such " style or language to their disciples or readers. And all judi" cious persons will soon acknowlege, that no such words as “ • God the son' were ever used of or to Christ during his “ tvhole public ministry in Judea, or by any of his apostles, “ disciples, or followers," &c.
The Author judged it not fitting to put his name to his work. To have come forth openly on such topics, in opposis tion to the religious prejudice of many ages, might have caused much personal altercation, and hindered the calm discussion of them. And perhaps from the like motive, joined to a most singular and amiable modesty, the eminent Dr. Lardner, ten years after, published anonymously his famous letter on the Logos, &c. in support of the same doctrines of the Diyine Unity and proper humanity of Christ, after having suffered it to remain twenty-nine years in his cabinet. • There can be no occasion, however, for reserve now, at the distance of forty years. Rather, as it can derive no discredit, but the contrary, on the memory of the author; it should be told, that he was a person well known in his time, as the friend of civil and religious liberty; and that he was not a clergyman, whose profession necessarily called him to the study of the scriptures; but was a layman who voluntarily devoted himself to laborious researches into the reality, nature, and object of divine revelation, and thought it his duty to communicate the result of his inquiries to his countrymen: his name Hopton Haynes, Esg, of Queen's-square, in the city of Westminster, at the time of his death.
Concerning his parentage, and the place of his birth, and education, I have not been able to procure any information to be depended on.
From the worthy descendant of a respectable family of great and deserved literary fame, with which Mr. Haynes lived in friendly connection, I have been favoured with the inscription on the ring, which was given away at his funeral, together with that of his lady, which I have inserted in the margin; *
• Hopton Haynes, æt. 77, Nov, 18, 1749. Mrs. Mary Haynes, æt. 65, Sept. 22, 1750,