Friday, February 26, 2010

Joseph Priestley and Dr. Magee on the Trinity

Hi all,

I've often enjoyed reading Leonard Hodgson's Croall
Lectures (1942-1943) which eventually became a book
_The Doctrine of the Trinity_ (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1944). Hodgson proposed and advocated
a social version of the Trinity, yet he included
comments from Unitarians in his work, persons who
obviously took issue with Trinitarian dogma. On p.
219, Hodgson's work contains these quotes, which some
here might find of interest:

"It must be universally true, that three things to
which the same definition applies can never make only
one thing to which the same definition applies . . .
If, therefore, the three persons agree in this same
circumstance, that they are each of them perfect God,
though they may differ in other respects, and have
peculiar relations to each other and to us, they must
still be three Gods; and to say that they are only one
God is as much a contradiction, as to say that three
men, though they differ from one another as much as
three men do, are not three men, but only one man"
(Joseph Priestley).

"If ideas are attached to the words employed,
Trinitarianism is, in reality, either Tritheism or
Sabellianism" (The Right Reverend Dr. Magee, Bishop of



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