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suffered unto bonds and imprisonment, and great worldly losses, for maintaining the supreme, unequalled majesty of the One God and Father of all, under a most unrighteous persecution against him,” carried on by his own people, Dissenters, and abetted by some great Churchmen in Ireland.
His works will be a lasting monument of his genius, learning, piety and integrity; written in a clear, animated style, equalled by few, exceeded by none, in our language, and with such invincible force of argument, as still to promote that truth for which he was not unwilling to suffer.
The persecution of the learned Mr. James Pierce of Exeter, eminent also for his writings and sufferings in the same cause, amongst the Dissenters; and, of another learned and excellent person, Mr. Tomkins of Newington, must on the same account be passed over unnoticed,
The famous Mr. William Whiston ended his course only about twenty years ago, and his story is so well known, that little needeth to be said of the persecution he underwent, and his most unjust expulsion from his professorship in Cambridge in the year 1710, for maintaining, that the only God of the Christians, is God the Father. But his undissembled piety from his youth to extreme old age, his integrity and cheerfulness under the loss of his preferments, his constancy and courage, can never be enough celebrated and admired.
Those arguments of holy scripture, by which he proved his grand. point, have never been confuted. But some of the good effects of his labours were obstructed by an unlucky infatuation with which he was possessed for some ancient writings, particularly the Apostolical Constitutions; which he 'maintained to be the most sacred of the canonical books of the New Testament, although it must appear to all unprejudiced persons 'to have been written in the fourth century, but probably then compiled out of some earlier compositions of the first and second. Struck with admiration of the book at first, as. so much favouring his Arian sentiments, he thought it quite divine; and being of a warm imagination and sanguine temper, when once in such an error he could hardly get out of it. A small speck this, in so bright a character.
The inscription on his tomb-stone, at Lyndon in the county of Rutland, has done justice to his memory. It is not printed along with any of his works that I have seen, and therefore may not unusefully or improperly here find a place.
“ Here lyeth the body of the Rev. Mr. William Whiston, M. 4. some time professor of the mathematics in the university of Cambridge; who was born Dec. I, 1667, and died Aug: 22,
1752, in the 85th year of his age. Endued with an excellent genius, indefatigable in labour and study, he became learned in divinity, ancient history, chronology, philosophy and mathematics. Fertile in sentiment, copious in language, skilful to convey instruction, he introduced the Newtonian philosophy, then buried in the deepest recesses of geometry, into public knowledge, and thereby displayed the wonderful works of God : more desirous to discover his will, he applied himself chiefly to the examination and study of the holy Scriptures : resolved to practise it, he sacrificed great worldly advantages and greater expectations, that he might preserve the testimony of a good conscience. Firmly persuaded of the truth and importance of revealed religion, he exerted his utmost ability to enforce the evidence, to explain the doctrines, and promote the practice of Christianity : worshiping God with the most profound submission and adoration, the supreme majesty of the One God and Father of all, through the intercession and medi. ation of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the grace and influence of the Holy Spirit; and testifying the sincerity of his profession by the due obedience of a holy life. Strictly tenacious of his integrity, equally fervent in piety and charity, ardent to promote the glory of God and the good of mankind, zealous in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue, he persevered with faith and patience, steadfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, through many trials and much tribulation, to the end of his course, full of days, and ripe for Paradise, in a firm assurance of a joyful resurrection to everlasting life and happiness. Now, reader, rohoe'er thou art, if thou canst not attain to the measure of his learning and knowledge, yet it is in thy power to equal him in piety, probity, holiness, and other Christian graces ; and thou mayest hereby obtain, together with him, through the mercies of God, and merits of Christ, an everlasting crown of glory."
Few men in any age have by their writings cast more light on the dark parts of the word of God, or more laboured to restore his true worship, than Dr. Samuel Clarke, Rector of St. James's, Westminster. Skilful in mathematics and natural philosophy, a most exact critic in the learned languages and in the Hebrew, and furnished with all other knowledge that might assist in the great design, he made it the whole bent of his studies to illustrate the Scriptures and teach men virtue and true religion. His most admired work, The Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity, bath put it in the power of all sincere inquirers, even of the meanest capacities, to judge for themselves on a point of the greatest importance, namely, what, and who is the God they are to worships “ whether three persons, of one substance, power and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, or one person, the Father only, be the Onė living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or 'passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and-invisible.” - Article I.
And from the most exact, clear, and impartial examination of all the texts of the New Testament relating to the doctrine of the Trinity, he hath irrefragably demonstrated the great Unitarian doctrine of nature and revelation, that there is but One God, the Father, to whom alone absolutely supreme honour is due, and to whom divine worship and prayer is to be offered.
The Rev. Mr. Jones, in his Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity, hath availed himself of this method of our great author, and endeavoured thereby to make out the quite contrary doctrine. That gentleman's introductory discourse, compared with Dr. Clarke's introduction, will shew the temper of each, and the methods they pursue. Those that compare the different interpretations given of the same texts, wilt observe that Dr. Clarke gives the sense the context requires; Mr. Jones, any sense the words will bear that may suit his system, in which way the Koran of Mahomet might be proved to be a most orthodox