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1. The text which might to some seem most clearly to imply this doctrine (Matthew 28:19), apart from the strong suspicion of its late origin does not imply that each of the three is God, still less that the three are one.
1. He called the Arians by such names as "devils, antichrists, maniacs, Jews, polytheists, atheists, dogs, wolves, lions, hares, chameleons, hydras, eels, cuttlefish, gnats, beetles, and leeches," and no doubt the Arians repaid him measure for measure.
3. See Appendix, page 471.
5. This was not in fact a General Council, but only an Eastern one, and it did not in fact adopt the Creed referred to. But by about 530 both the Eastern and the Western Church had come to consider this a General Council, and to regard this Creed as its production, to be used henceforth (under the name of the Nicene Creed) in place of that adopted at Nicæa.
6. See Appendix, page 473.
2. The second part, beginning with Article 29. See Appendix, page 473.
2. See page 17.
3. See page 15.
1. This is the Latin form of his name, and the one commonly used. His full name in its correct Spanish form was Miguel Serveto, alias Revés. Other forms often met with rest upon error or mistaken conjecture.
3. Over twenty years afterwards, in the last year of his life, his indignation and disgust still boiled over as he writes, “With these very eyes I saw him borne with pomp on the shoulders of princes, and in the public streets adored by the whole people kneeling, to such a point that those that succeeded even in kissing his feet or his shoes deemed themselves happy beyond the rest. Oh, beast of beasts the most wicked! Most shameless of harlots!”
6. See page 32.
7. See page 53.
8. Compare Campanus’s teaching, page 48.
9. See page 15.
11. See page 66.
12. See page 40.
13. See page 40.
1. Melanchthon afterwards denied responsibility for the letter, though approving its sentiments. The material thing is that it gives contemporary evidence of the active currency of Servetus’s views in Venice in the late 1530’s.
2. The above account of the Council at Venice, based upon records of the Inquisition brought to light in 1885, represents the truth probably underlying the more or less legendary account (first published as late as 1678) of certain “conferences” said to have been held at Vicenza in 1546 and participated in by nearly all the Italians who afterwards promoted Unitarian thought, and also to have anticipated most of the distinctive doctrines of seventeenth century Socinianism. The account of these interesting conferences given in all the books hitherto had now best be forgotten.
3. See page 65.
3. The rest of the edition, save a few copies retained by the prosecution, had been sent to Frankfurt, where they were later destroyed at Calvin’s instance. The original is therefore one of the rarest books in the world, and only three copies are extant, in libraries at Vienna, Paris, and Edinburgh. A page-for-page reprint is also very rare.
1. The term Trinitarian was in the sixteenth century applied to heretics holding certain incorrect views as to the Trinity (it was often applied, curiously enough, by Catholic writers, to Unitarians), hence Calvin’s objection to it. But as is wont to happen with names applied to opponents, this one stuck and later came into general use to designate any believer in the Trinity. Servetus insisted in his trial that he himself believed in the true Trinity of the early Fathers, though not in the corrupted doctrine of later times.
3. Thus he repeatedly calls Calvin impudent, ignorant, know nothing, ridiculous, sophist, madman, sycophant, rascal, beast, monster, criminal, murderer, Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:911) nineteen times, and says “you lie” over fifty times. It was the pleasant custom of the age in religious controversy, and Calvin himself was a past master in the use of it upon occasion.
2. See pages 76–77.
3. See page 72.
4. Following Servetus, see page 61.
5. See page 15.
6. See page 49.
7. See page 24.
1. Nicola Paruta was a nobleman of Lucca, and one of the Anabaptists in the Venetian territory. He came from Venice to Geneva in 1560, and later was in Poland and Moravia, and in Transylvania, where a catechism which he prepared was used by the Unitarians.
2. See page 99.
3. See page 48.
4. See page 98.
5. See page 99.
6. He was of Siena, and when well on in years left Italy for safety in Switzerland, and after spending some time in the Grisons he came in 1569 to Basel. He has sometimes been claimed as an Antitrinitarian, and was certainly of liberal mind.
1. See page 114.
2. See page 77.
3. The religion of a church in Poland depended on that of the owner of the estate on which it stood, who was known as its patron; and the minister was appointed, or at least must be approved, by him. In some cases the patron himself became minister. When he died the churches usually followed the faith of the new patron. Thus with the adherence of Kiszka to their cause the Antitrinitarians at once gained a numerous group of churches; in 1592 these returned to the Reformed Church of their new patron. There were many instances of such vicissitudes, and the progress of the new faith largely depended upon the extent to which the great nobles could be won over to it.
4. Page 126.
5. See pages 104, 105.
6. See pages 105 – 109.
7. See page 113.
8. See page 15.
10. See page 113.
11. See page 9.
1. So Servetus, page 62.
3. See page 126.
1. The Socinians themselves did not use this name, or at least not until long afterwards. Their official name, as we have seen, was the Minor Reformed Church of Poland. They liked best to call themselves merely Christians, or Catholic Christians, or Polish Brethren. The name of Unitarians, borne by those of like faith in Transylvania, later became attached to them, and at length they were glad to accept it. To the end they never ceased to protest against the name of Arians, or of Anabaptists, by which their enemies insisted on calling them; for the former of these names stood for views which we have seen that they rejected early in their history, and the latter was more or less associated with fanatical social and religious views with which many of them had little sympathy.
2. See page 114.
4. See page 46.
1. See page 134.
3. A plan was discussed at this time for the Rakow Socinians to remove to more tolerant Holland, but this was interfered with by the action of the States General there, who were warned of it by the Prince of Transylvania.
7. The liberum veto had come into use a few years before, and was highly esteemed as a safeguard against infringing the liberties of members. By use of it a single member might block any proposed action, or even dissolve the Diet. It was repeatedly used, and often wrought great mischief.
9. The treatment of these heretics in Poland in the seventeenth century was after all far better than in some other countries of Europe, though it was more conspicuous on account of the large numbers and high position of the Socinians, and was more aggravated by contrast with the previous policy of toleration. For while the rest of Europe in the seventeenth century was slowly growing more tolerant, Poland was rapidly growing less so. To Protestant critics the Catholics justified this treatment of heretics by citing the case of Servetus, and the writings of Calvin and Beza defending the capital punishment of heretics. It is now recognized by historians that one of the main causes of the downfall of the nation was its religious quarrels and the intolerant policy promoted by the Jesuits.
2. See page 179.
3. See pages 45 – 49.
4. It was he that had won the favor of the Elector Karl Ludwig for the exiles at Mannheim (page 187). He was own cousin to the next Polish King, John III.
5. See page 170.
1. See page 158.
3. See page 188.
4. See pages 191, 192.
7. See page 46.
8. See page 46.
10. See page 155.
11. See page 193.
12. One slender thread of influence seems to connect the Socinianism of Holland with the Unitarianism of America; for Dr. van der Kemp, who had been a Mennonite preacher at Leiden, and was there known for his liberal tendencies, emigrated to America in 1788, where a few years later he became one of the founders of a liberal church at Trenton, N.Y., which in due time became a part of the Unitarian movement.
2. Moses Szekely, who ruled as elected prince for but a few weeks in 1603, might also be mentioned. See page 249.
3. See page 74.
4. The chief design of this decree evidently was to protect Catholics from persecution by Protestants. At this time Mohammedan Turkey allowed fuller religious liberty than Christian Europe, and more than once early Antitrinitarians were obliged to go there for refuge. (Cf. page 68.)
5. See page 126.
7. See page 132.
9. See page 214.
3. See page 110.
5. By a confusion of dates between the two debates at Gyulafehervar (see page 223), this event is often wrongly placed in 1566 instead of 1568.
6. See page 212.
1. See page 128 n.
2. See page 225.
3. See page 227.
4. See page 228.
5. See page 234.
6. Bekes now fled the country, but afterwards came again into favor with Stephen when the latter was King of Poland, and did him valuable service as a general against the Russians. He died in Lithuania eight days before Dávid.
9. The Socinians held that this was the very heart of their religion, and felt that giving it up would be a more pernicious error than believing in the Trinity. The Racovian Catechism taught that those who believe otherwise are not Christians (p. 160); though a distinction was drawn by some between adoring the supreme God and invoking Christ's aid as our mediator with him. Budny in Lithuania (page 139), taught by Palæologus, opposed this view, and was hence expelled from the Church.
11. See Chapter xvii.
3. It was this Rackoczy who having intercepted a Unitarian letter addressed to one of the brethren in Transylvania in 1638 warned the Dutch to take measures to prevent the Socinians just driven out of Rakow from settling in Holland as was proposed. See page 171 n.
1 See page 200.
8. Aconzio was an Italian, a lawyer by profession, who had also devoted himself to military engineering. Becoming Protestant in faith he fled from Italy, came to England, and was long in Elizabeth’s service constructing fortifications. He was the most distinguished member of the Strangers’ Church, but was excommunicated from it for his views, and a little later, in 1565, published his Stratagems of Satan, which was published in five different languages and in print for more than a century, and had a wide and powerful influence throughout Europe in encouraging liberal beliefs and a tolerant spirit. Whether or not be believed in the Trinity, he at least did not think it an essential doctrine.
2. There is no evidence that Bidle was acquainted with the writings of Servetus, but by now he had evidently come to know the Racovian Catechism, by which his Confession of Faith seems to have been influenced.
6. Two years after Bidle’s death this work was translated into Latin for circulation on the Continent by Nathaniel Stuckey, a lad of fifteen who had been a member of his congregation and was warmly attached to him. The boy died at sixteen, and the next year his mother undertook charge of the education of two of the children of Christopher Crellius, a distinguished Polish Socinian in exile. This indicates close relations between Bidle’s followers and the Socinians on the continent. It was the two sons of one of these children that emigrated to America. See page 190.
9. See page 179.
1. See page 296.
2. See page 297.
3. See page 293.
4. A century later, however, when the Episcopal Church in America was revising the English Prayer Book for its own use, it adopted these changes, and omitted the Athanasian Creed. The Nicene Creed also was at first omitted, but later was restored, as otherwise no English bishop would consent to consecrate the American bishops. In the Episcopal Church of Ireland the Athanasian Creed may be used in public worship only by special permission, which has seldom been sought.
5. See page 132.
6. How serious this controversy was may be judged from the fact that it extended, in its widest compass, from 1687 to 1734, comprised more than 300 separate writings by not fewer than 100 known writers (including several bishops and archbishops), besides many others who wrote anonymously. The whole controversy divides up into some twenty different ones, ranging round some particular writing or some minor branch of the whole question at issue.
7. Unitarians was the name preferred by Firmin and generally used by his associates who, although they were generally called Socinians by the orthodox, and did not deny that they agreed with the Socinians on many points, yet did not accept all the Socinian doctrines. By Unitarian they meant, at this period, one who holds the doctrine of the Trinity in some sense which does not imply belief in three Gods. The name was borrowed from Transylvania by way of Holland, and first appeared in English print in 1672-73.
8. See page 310.
10. See page 310.
11. See page 310 n.
14. See page 200.
16. Newton himself had already (1690) come to disbelieve the authority of the two strongest prooftexts for the doctrine of the Trinity; but shrinking from being drawn into controversy he would not let his views be published while be lived. Whiston is now best remembered for his translation of Josephus.
20. He later drew up a scheme of revisions in the Prayer Book, which were adopted late in the century by Lindsey’s Unitarian church in London, and by King’s Chapel in Boston, as we shall see hereafter. See page 351.
21. The so called Arianism of Whiston, Clarke, and others of their time differed in several important respects from that of the fourth century (see page 17), especially since they did not regard Christ as a created being. But in theological controversy it has been the custom to prejudice the case of an opponent by giving him whenever possible the name of a discredited heresy, whether really deserved or not. At the present time (1925) in political controversy the name Bolshevik is freely applied in the same way.
4. He described himself as “a true scriptural Trinitarian,” but accepted the name Unitarian in the sense then current (see p. 316, note 3) and wrote A Vindication of the Worship of the Lord Jesus Christ on Unitarian Principles (1706). He was really Arian in much the same sense as Whiston and Clarke and their followers (see p. 324, 325).
8. After the passage of the Toleration Act over a score of the Dissenting congregations in London, instead of building new meetinghouses, for a time used for worship the handsome halls of old London guilds, whose members were almost entirely from among the Dissenters.
Salters’ Hall was one of these, used as a Presbyterian church. This assembly is often spoken of as the Salters’ Hall synod, but it was not properly a synod, for it did not represent any organization of churches, and it had no authority over either churches or ministers.
9. The Baptists, who had come together into an organized denomination in England early in the seventeenth century, had split up in 1633 into Particular Baptists, who were the smaller sect and strict Calvinists, and General Baptists, who were more numerous and more liberal in spirit and progressive in doctrine.
4. The Feathers’ Tavern Petition was brought up in Parliament again in 1774 and decisively rejected, and the situation remained quite unchanged down to 1865, when the terms of subscription were altered so that now one must assent only to “the Articles” (instead of “all and every the Articles”) and the Book of Common Prayer, and believe the doctrine therein set forth to be agreeable to the Word of God. Some deem this an important change and a great relief to conscience; others see no great difference. In 1867 an effort was made to have the Athanasian Creed removed from the service of the Church. The High Churchmen opposed the movement, and threatened to leave the Church if any change were made. The creed is still retained, and must be used thirteen times a year, though evasion of the full requirement is often practiced, and as often winked at. In 1858 tests for matriculation for the bachelor’s degree were abolished at Oxford, and conditions had been relaxed at Cambridge. two years before. All university tests were abolished by Gladstone’s government in 1871.
6. The earlier short-lived meetings of Bidle, Emlyn and others are not to be forgotten in this connection, nor is Peirce’s Arian movement at Exeter. It is true that not a few of the old Presbyterian congregations had before now outgrown their Arianism and become Unitarian in belief, but they were not yet so in name. Lindsey adopted the Unitarian doctrine without reserve, and gave the word a new definition. By it be meant “that religious worship is to be addressed only to the One true God, the Father,” implying therefore the pure humanity of Jesus. The orthodox did not like to admit the right of Unitarians to appropriate the name, claiming that they too believed in the unity of God; and for a long time they insisted on naming the Unitarians Socinians. But the name chosen by Lindsey spread and has survived, and the other has passed out of use.
8. The Essex Street congregation worshiped here until 1886, when they removed to a more suitable location in Kensington. Since then Essex Hall has been headquarters for organized Unitarianism in England.
9. Dr. Richard Price was, after Priestley, the most famous of the liberal Dissenters. He was a noted mathematician, and wrote important works on finance, politics, and philosophy, and on the war with America. His view of Christ was Arian and was strongly opposed by Dr. Priestley, but their friendship was of the warmest.
1. See page 289.
2. See page 329 n.
3. See page 270.
4. See page 341.
6. James Martineau, born at Norwich 1805, was educated as a civil engineer, but to the great blessing of his church and of religion in his time be soon changed his career and prepared for the ministry. He preached at Dublin, 1828–1832, at Liverpool, 1832–1857, where he bore the leading part in the celebrated controversy over Unitarianism in 1839 (see page 379), and in London, 1859–1872. At the same time he was professor in the divinity school then known as Manchester New College 1840–1885 (Principal from 1869). He published several volumes of memorable sermons, and some great works on theology, and was the most eminent Unitarian theologian of the nineteenth century. Celebrated alike as preacher, thinker, and teacher, and honored by the universities of five countries, he laid Christians of all denominations under obligation for his able support of their common Christian faith. He died in London in 1900.
7. Besides persons mentioned in the text it may be enough to mention these distinguished English Unitarians: Sir Charles Lyell the geologist; Sir William Jones the orientalist; William Roscoe the historian; Josiah Wedgwood the potter; Sir John Bowring the statesman; Professor W. S. Jevons the logician; David Ricardo the economist; Erasmus Darwin the scientist; Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Gaskell and Maria Edgeworth, women of letters; John Pounds, founder of ragged schools; Florence Nightingale and Mary Carpenter, philanthropists.
10. The Nicene Creed was retained in the Prayer Book as finally adopted in 1786, because the English bishops insisted on that before they would consecrate bishops for the new Church; but the Athanasian Creed was abandoned by almost unanimous desire. See page 315 n.
17. Early in this same year an English layman, John Butler, held religious services at New York, and a Unitarian church is said to have been organized; but after three months be fell ill, and no more is heard of it.
2. He deserves to be remembered as the father of American geography, and as father also of S. F. B. Morse, inventor of the electric telegraph. After his narrow Calvinism bad led nearly half of his congregation to withdraw and form a liberal church in 1815, the rest of them tired of him and let him go; while his son later became a radical Unitarian.
3. With the lapse of time this creed became a burden too heavy to bear. Some of the professors refused to keep on signing it; others were prosecuted for having forsaken it. After the failure of such a prosecution in 1890, the creed came to be practically ignored; and in 1908, after exactly a hundred years of separate existence, the Seminary removed to Cambridge and entered into alliance with the Harvard Divinity School, which, as the nursery of Unitarian ministers, had formerly been its chief rival. Finally in 1922 the two schools were merged into one on an unsectarian basis.
7. The preliminary meeting was held May 25, the actual organization was affected May 26, 1825. Some weeks passed before it was discovered that on May 26, by an extraordinary coincidence, Unitarians in London had organized the British and Foreign Unitarian Association. See page 378.
8. The early Universalists, by denying any future punishment whatever, had seemed to be dangerous to good morals by removing the chief ground for living a right life here. They were also Trinitarians, and on various grounds most Unitarians held them in abhorrence, and long kept aloof from them. They soon abandoned the doctrine of the Trinity, but it was a long generation before steps had ventured generally to deny eternal punishment. The two denominations have long since been closely alike in thought.
9. It is interesting to note that though Dr. Beecher had been the leading champion of conservative orthodoxy against Unitarianism, lie himself had to stand trial a few years later for heresy; and that three of his seven sons, all of whom were ministers, were well known for their liberal views and that one of his granddaughters became the wife of a Unitarian minister, Edward Everett Hale.
10. But the Universalist movement which had been growing up at about the same time, the Hicksite movement among the Friends from 1827 on, and the Christian Connection in the West, made the total number of churches which had abandoned orthodoxy in the whole country much larger than this.
1. It is doubtful whether there has ever been a year since the Association was founded in which some individual Unitarian laymen (often several individuals) did not give to education or philanthropy more, often many times more, than the whole denomination was giving for its common work. A single such person is known to have given to benevolent objects $150,000 a year for ten successive years.
1. In 1884 the Association amended its constitution so as to allow delegate representation of churches; and in 1924 steps were taken looking to the eventual extinction of individual memberships and merging with the General Conference.
7. Though he had won his point, Hepworth became increasingly dissatisfied with the position of the denomination, and grew steadily more orthodox. Two years later he left his church and entered the orthodox ministry. Late in life he made overtures for returning to the Unitarian pulpit, but he was discouraged from doing so.
9. “The Preamble and Articles of our Constitution are no authoritative test of Unitarianism, and are not intended to exclude from our fellowship any who, while differing from us in belief, are in general sympathy with our purposes and practical aims!”
12. “These churches accept the religion of Jesus, holding, in accordance with his teaching, that practical religion is summed up in love to God and love to man . . . and we cordially invite to our working fellowship any who, while differing from us in belief, are in general sympathy with our spirit and our practical aims.”