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Written by Wilson Thompson   

APPENDIX

Containing three short Letters, addressed to the writers of a pamphlet, recently published, entitled, SIMPLE TRUTH EXAMINED, &C.

LETTER I.

TO ELDER MOSES HORNADAY.

Dear Sir,

I have carefully examined a letter which you published in a pamphlet entitled, "Simple Truth Examined, or a candid refutation of the errors contained in a pamphlet published by the Rev. Wilson Thompson of Lebanon." I can see nothing in your letter calculated to convince of any error which I hold in the important doctrine in question. Had you written against the doctrine contained in my book, and fairly controverted the subject, you would have acted much more friendly, and I should never have replied to it; but finding that you had [through mistake or otherwise] misrepresented every part of my book which you have noticed, I felt bound in duty to let yourself and the world know that I am not guilty of holding those errors with which you have accused me. If yourself or any of your readers should now think that you have not misconstrued my writings, I hope you and they will examine with me the following sentences in your letter. Before I read the first six lines I met with this strange assertion. "You have taken up the doctrine of the Trinity, and treated it with the utmost contempt." This is somehow a very great mistake of yours, for the book to which you refer says nothing against the doctrine of the Trinity; in that book I have never taken up that doctrine, nor is there one sentence in it in opposition to that doctrine, much less in contempt of it. I have there taken up the distinct tri-personality of the Trinity as a defect in the trinitarian plan of reasoning on this doctrine, and have attempted to show some of the evils of that defect, and how it exposes those who use it to the just censures of the infidel and Arian, and I have stated this defect to be a mischievous, popish tradition, mischievous in its tendency, and veiling to the truth in its nature; all this I do believe, nor is this charging anything to the doctrine of the Trinity. If I were to assert that man was an accountable being, but few would deny it; but if I should attempt to support this doctrine by alleging that he was erect, perhaps many might think there was a defect in my plan of reasoning, and some might treat such reasoning with contempt; but this would be a very different thing from treating the doctrine of accountability with contempt; so what I have said against the defects in the tri-personal scheme, is a very different thing from "taking up the doctrine of the Trinity and treating it with the utmost contempt." Now by making this unfortunate and fatal mistake in the very onset of your letter, you have never recovered from this blunder to the close of it. As to the doctrine of the Trinity, I do now, and from the first of my religious life have most firmly believed in it; but as to the tri-personality of the Trinity, I do not believe in it, nor have I for many years; but do view it as a mischievous, popish, anti-scriptural, anti-christian defect, introduced by the Bishops of Rome, in that flood of error which they invented in order to inundate and envelop or conceal the truth. Now if you did believe that the tri-personal scheme was no defect in the Trinitarians plan of reasoning, you were at liberty to pursue it, and if I thought it was a defect, I did hope I was at liberty to reject it; and in doing this, I never dreamed of any candid man's rising up and accusing me of treating the doctrine of the Trinity with the utmost contempt. I am sorry for this mistake, for it is beyond the most charitable philanthropy to account for it on any other than a malevolent and malign principle, and rather than do this, I will leave it not accounted for at all, and hope the public will treat it with as much clemency as they can, as it might have been a typographical error not noticed in reading the proof -sheet.

On your 18th page you have entered an invective against me, for being compelled to say, "The Father hath committed all judgment to the pre-existent soul of Christ." You have never heard me say any such a thing; it is only an illogical inference which you have drawn from a perversion of my sentiments, and not a legitimate offspring of my writings. God will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, and the man Christ Jesus having received a kingdom as a gift from the Father, hath all judgment in that kingdom committed to him, and the Father will never condemn any of them, for Christ in his mediatorial kingdom has all judgment committed to him, because he is the Son of Man. This mistake was either an unlucky slip of the pen, or an oversight occasioned by too much zeal, without an equal quantum of knowledge. But as men who are passionately fond of controversy, and prone to fall into this error, when they aim more to act the pasquinade than the fair reasoner, I think your crime may be overlooked in the clemency of the public, and I will pass it by.

You have no reason to believe from anything which I have written that I am an Atheist, and deny the being and unity of God; and I can appeal to yourself in the face of an enlightened public on this subject, and if you will say that I ever gave you the smallest reason to think that I denied either the being or unity of God, I will never complain of your refutation of my errors; but if not, I ask you before God to answer me the following questions: Did you design your letter to be "a candid refutation of the errors contained in a pamphlet published by Wilson Thompson, of Lebanon: Ohio?" Had Wilson Thompson of Lebanon, Ohio, in that pamphlet, denied the Being or Unity of God? Did you entertain the most distant idea that Wilson Thompson of Lebanon, Ohio, was an Atheist? I believe candor will compel you to answer these questions in the negative. Then I would ask you for what reason did you undertake to prove the being and unity of God, in refuting my errors? Did you wish to blacken my character by this insinuation; or had you forgotten that you were writing a candid refutation of the errors contained in my book? Did you not know that the first discourse in that book was written in support of the being and unity of God? Then why must you prove the same in candidly refuting my errors? This was very illiberal, and if you thought it necessary to write on this subject, you ought, as a candid writer, to have stated this as a point of agreement, and not have introduced it as a refutation of my errors.

You have written in support of the divinity of Christ, and the Holy Ghost. My second discourse in the pamphlet which you attempt to refute, is written on the same subject. Then why must you support these points in refuting of my errors? Why did you not act candidly, and state these as points of agreement, and not pretend to be refuting any errors, when you well knew that I believed in these points; as unquestionably as you or any other man could. These things I cannot account for without indulging myself in the unwelcome conclusion, that you were blinded by a malefic spirit, and were giving vent to your spleen; but as I do not wish to be an adherent to any such sensual intruders, I try to lay it aside, as an evidence of the remaining imperfections of a respectable brother, who for once blundered a little to one side of his good old way, and surely we all do many things which would be much better left undone, as well as this unguarded brother, but because he has exposed his faults to the world, they become more notorious, but after a mild reproof for his good, we ought to forgive him as he is but a young transgressor; and we hope he will never be overtaken in this fault again. We have seen frequently that young warriors have more courage than conduct, and if such men's lives are spared after a few defeats, they may make good soldiers; and perhaps after brother H. becomes acquainted with the doctrine of the Trinity a little better, he will know that if a man should mention some defects in the reasonings of the people on the subject, it is not treating the doctrine with contempt; and if he should then undertake to refute my errors, he will try to refute them, and not write on the same side of the question; and try to make his readers believe that I had denied the being and unity of God, the divinity of Christ and the Holy Ghost; but as he happened to join sides with his antagonist, and instead of refuting his errors, gave him all the assistance he could in proving those important truths, I think he ought to be forgiven his crime, which is in insinuating that I had denied these points, and he was refuting my errors. This we all know was a great mistake, and I thought it my duty to let the public know that these insinuations were without foundation, so I will ask the Baptist people to forgive brother H. for this fault, although it is a great one. The only difference which I can see between us is, with regard to the tri-personality of the Trinity. You believe that the three that bear record in heaven are three distinct persons, and that they are one in essence; while I believe the three are not persons, but that they are one. Now we both believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, you in a trinity of distinct persons, and I deny this tri-personality. The being of God, the unity of God, the divinity of Christ, the divinity of the Holy Ghost, and of the Father, and the doctrine of the Trinity, are all points of agreement between us, and these things you ought to have stated in justice to me and yourself as a candid writer, and not to have insinuated that I had denied these points, by going to establish them under the pretext of a candid refutation of my errors. These things are very illiberal and unjust, and I am very sorry that you have given me so much reason to fear, that you did not write with a good spirit. Your invectives are very cruel, you rank me with "Mohammedans, Socinians, Arians, Sabellians, Deists, and the Bramians;" and you accuse me of being equally hostile with these to the Trinity; see your 33rd page. O brother H.; these are hard things; have you not been too censorious? I think a little repentance would be of use here.

The doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery which we can know nothing about except by revelation; and I cannot read anything in the scripture that teaches me that there are three persons in the Godhead, and I cannot feel warranted in believing it, but if you or any of my brethren do believe it, I do not wish to bind your conscience, but to pray for you that God may bless you, and lead us all to know and love the truth. You accuse me of not being a regular Baptist, and that upon my principles baptism is an unmeaning ceremony, which in effect goes to invalidate every baptism which I have administered. You charge me with aiming to draw off a party from the regular Baptist communion, and that my followers will be called Thompsonites, and those who oppose me will be the Regular Baptists. You intimate that I am a mixture of two ancient heresies which formerly troubled the church. Many such hard, uncouth, splenetic, and ireful accusations you have in the most unqualified manner, brought against me. Is this the way for one brother to calumniate another? If I were such a heterogeneous mixture of every error, both ancient and modern, how could you call me by the appellation of brother? Let me ask you if I ever acted or said anything like raising a faction in the Baptist church? Did I ever say that those who believed in the tri-personality of the Trinity were not regular Baptists? Did I ever refuse fellowship to, or treat with contempt, any Baptist member, because he differed with me on this subject? Have I not always manifested the greatest willingness to serve my brethren, by day and night, riding through storms and freezes for fifteen years, in which time I have traveled much in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi Territory, and have baptized about five hundred persons, and now I can appeal to you, and all who know me, and state in positive terms that no man ever heard me say anything like desiring to separate the Baptist church, or draw off a part to be called Thomsonites! No, this world with all its emoluments, would never tempt me to lead such a party if my influence was sufficient to seduce thousands. I have lived from the thirteenth year of my age in the Baptist church, and although I have always been a poor unworthy sinner, I hope I have experienced some tokens of divine approbation, and I wish to live the rest of my days on earth in the enjoyment of the communion of the same people, believing there to be the only true gospel church on earth. I am now 36 years of age, about 23 of them has past since I was baptized, 15 of them since I have been trying to preach the gospel of Christ, and your pamphlet contains the first invectives which I ever knew the Baptists to issue against me. O that my God may still be with me, and give me much of that charity which "suffereth long and is kind," which envieth not," which "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity , but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things," and that "never faileth." Then shall I walk in that "more excellent way," and learn from my Lord and Master, that if I am reviled to revile not again; if I am buffeted, not to threaten, but to bear hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ; and if I am smitten on one cheek to turn the other also.

Dear brother, did you think when you were writing your letter that you were detecting an Alexander, and feeding the gullibility of the public with the mangled frame of a heterodox, who was neither fit for the society of christians nor heretics, but a mixture of everything that was good for nothing? Well, I am what I am, but let you treat me as you may, I will try to love you as a brother, and pray for your prosperity; and if ever I get to heaven, I hope I shall mingle voices with brother H. in that song which is forever new; O that the Lord may help us now to lift our voices in sweet agreement in proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation to perishing sinners, through the atoning blood of the immaculate Jesus. Then Zion will no longer mourn, her daughters no longer go in sackcloth on account of division, but like the sheep of one fold, they will rest and feed together.

Your quotations from Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man," &c, 11:6, 7, "Let us go down and there confound their language;" Isa.41:21, 22, "Let them bring them forth and shew us" -"that we may consider them, or disclose us things to come;" Dan.4: 17, "The decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones;" &c. These texts I should explain of the two natures of Christ, and I should feel fully supported in this from the following considerations. First, man was not made in the image of divinity, but a figure of Christ who should come in the flesh, and as the governor of the lower world. Adam was in the image of God, for he was to subdue the earth. The descendants of Nimrod, who were building a tower when their language was confounded, are to represent a false religion, which is to be confounded by the gospel of Christ, in which both natures of Christ is revealed. Isaiah was speaking of the gospel day; when Christ in both natures should challenge all false prophets and teachers to bring forward any argument against his doctrine, or disclose anything to him which he did not know, or perfectly understand, either of present or future things. The Watchers and Holy Ones was a watcher and an holy one, and so Daniel explains it, vs.23. This heathen king, believing in many gods, says, watchers and holy ones, as he says "holy gods," in the 8th verse, and his using the plural nouns, watchers and holy ones, proves no more than the plural noun gods, would prove more than one God. By the watcher, I understand a seer or prophet, in which office the man Christ was visible to the king, and the blazing glory of his divine dignity was the holy one. "No man hath seen God any time," but the human nature is the visible form of the divine Jehovah, for the glory of God is beheld in the face of Jesus. But if it should be granted, that the king saw a plurality of watchers and of holy ones, and if these were divine persons in the Godhead, they would at least prove four such persons, for there must have been more than one watcher, and more than one holy one; and if these texts should be sufficient to prove the doctrine of the Trinity , yet they are no support to the tri-personality of the Trinity , for they would prove too many persons; so they only prove what we both believe, the two natures of Christ, and prove nothing which we split upon. Your quotation from I John 5:7, I have noticed elsewhere, and therefore shall pass it here, as my object is not to controvert your doctrine, but to correct some of your mistakes, which are calculated to gender strife.

You say by the term persons, that you do not mean "three beings separate and distinct from each other, nor that each of the persons in the Godhead contain a third part of the Deity; but you mean that in the Godhead to which personal properties can be ascribed." This I never denied. There is in man that of soul, body and spirit; and personal properties may be ascribed to each of them. In the water, in the wind, and in the sun, and in almost everything in nature, we may find a sort of trinity, to which personal properties can be ascribed, but this does not prove the real tri-personality of those visible things. Now if these visible things declare the eternal power and Godhead of their creator, we have no reason to argue from personal properties real tri-personality. Buck's definition of the word Trinity, that it means "three in one," I agree with, and that it has been "generally applied to the ineffable mystery of three persons in one God" is also true; but that the word Trinity necessarily means three persons in one God, I deny. Distinct personality in the Trinity is the main point of dispute between us; and on your 17th page you request me to attend while you prove this point from the word of God. This I will do with pleasure, and as you propose first to prove the distinct personality of the Father, I will transcribe every word you have said on this subject, which is as follows: "That the Father is God, and that he is a person, cannot be disputed by any however skeptical, I therefore pass on to prove the personality and divinity of the Son of God." I do here confess before the public, that this is the last way to prove a disputed point "by the word of God" that I have ever heard of! Not one text of scripture mentioned! The distinct personality of the Son and Spirit are about as well proven from the word of God, as that of the Father, for instead of the word of God you commence by declaring, "Christ is a person distinct from the person of the Father, and truly God." That he is truly God, I have never denied, and to prove that he as God is a person distinct from the Father, you introduced criticisms on personal acts, nouns, and pronouns, instead of the word of God; and you rely on the same kind of criticism to support the distinct personality of the Holy Ghost. O fie brother H! Your learned criticism will never pass for the word of God! This was a great mistake of yours, but you mingled the notion of tri-personality with that of the divinity of the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, as if I had denied both. This was unbrotherly, for you knew, from the second discourse in Simple Truth, that I was a firm believer in the divinity of each. For this illiberal misrepresentation I blame you, and do think you ought to blame yourself. I have in the first discourse in this book weighed these criticisms, and I refer you to that for my views of their magnitude.

You made a great mistake where you took up my views of the human nature of Christ, and on your 391h page undertake to amuse your readers with mockery and criticism, in a number of such sentences as this, "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the human soul shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not the human soul, and that obey not the gospel of our human soul of Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the human soul, and from the glory of his power." Does this look like a candid writer? O blush, brother H., blush, for you well knew, that although I did believe that Christ had a human soul, [and do you not believe the same?] yet I believed in his divine nature as firmly as yourself, and that God will be the Judge, and that man whom he hath ordained will be that by which he will judge the world in righteousness; and Christ as mediator stands for all the elect, and with respect to them the Father will judge no man; that is, he will condemn none of them, for in Christ the Mediator they have been brought to judgment, and he has been executed for them, and by his stripes they are healed, and by his blood and righteousness, they are freely justified; and shall not be condemned with the world. Christ, because he is the Son of Man, or is in human nature, and in that fills all the offices of his mediatorial character, so in his mediatorial kingdom, all judgment is committed to him, hence it is a judgment which the Father hath given, or committed to him, because he is the Son of Man.

This is my understanding of this matter, and let the reader judge whether you ought not to blush at such illicit, ill-natured, and illogical representations. I do believe in the pre-existence of the human nature or soul of Christ, nor has this ever been called heresy by the orthodox that I know of. Dr. Watts, whose hymns we use in common, believed the same; Mr. John Stephens of England [a Baptist minister of high standing] believed the same; John Allen of England, who stood high amongst the orthodox Baptists, believed the same, and denied the tri-personality of the Trinity also; and each of these and many others have written on this subject, but who ever ranked them with heretics? As I have Allen's work by me; entitled "Spirit of Liberty," and signed, JUNIUS JUNIOR, I will give the reader a few quotations from it on this doctrine, by which they will see that I am of the same faith in these matters, with many of the ablest and most orthodox Baptist authors in England, and many of the Calvinistic Paedobaptists were of the same opinion in these matters. In assigning some reasons why Dr. Gill was so earnest to establish his eternal generation creed, Allen says, "Because he [Gill] thinks that the distinction of the first, second, and third person in the Godhead, as we have been ignorantly taught, cannot be maintained without it, but [continues he] unhappy as it is for the Doctor, nor with it; for we have not so learned CHRIST by tradition from the fathers, but from the scriptures we know and believe, not as the Doctor teaches, that a first, second, and a third person existeth, the one by nature, the other by being begotten, and the other by procession; such an idea as this of the existence of God is unworthy his name, his nature, and perfections and contrary to the declaration of the truth of CHRIST, who says, I AM- I am the first; as though he had said, I am of myself, and derive neither essential nor personal glory from any; therefore it is that we believe, according to the sweet simplicity of the scriptures, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the sacred three that bear record in heaven, self -exist in every glory and perfection of the divine nature, whether essential or personal as the triune GOD, and that the personal glory of this GOD whom we adore is only in the man CHRIST, who is called in scripture the brightness of GOD'S glory, and the express image of his person." See the Spirit of Liberty, pages 111, 112.

Thus you see that many of the orthodox Baptist writers, who were never charged with denying the Trinity, have boldly opposed the tri-personal scheme, and were neither called Mahometans, Arians, Socinians, Deists, Bramins, nor heretics. But you can now represent me as being equally hostile to the Trinity with these heretics, for holding what many of the best writers amongst the orthodox have held ages ago. Have you not been too censorious? Would not a little more candor, moderation and christian forbearance have become you much better? But I hope these were mistakes, and not the fumes of a seditious spirit, although I must confess it looks bad enough, make the best of it; but if I err, let it be on the side of lenity. Your heavy charges against me for saying, that Christ existed in a nature inferior to the Father, both before the world and since, is another mistake of yours; for you have very strangely construed this sentence into an appearance of a denial of the divinity of Christ. Now brother H., you did know, that when I wrote this sentence, I was speaking of the human nature or manhood of Christ, and not of his divinity, and I think you believe that his human nature or manhood was inferior to the Father, as well as I; for you say, p. 23, of the human nature of Christ, that it "was not immutable; " and you think that Jesus in human nature, when a babe, was "destitute of knowledge and reason." This is going much further with his inferiority than I could go, and when you can go this length, you must be very wrong to blame me for only saying his human nature was inferior to the Father, or divine nature. But your design in bringing this charge, seems to be for the sake of taking an advantage, for on your 23rd page you pretend to understand me to hold this human soul to be equal with God, the creator of the world - "omnipotent, omniscient, and almighty," and ridicule me on this ground awhile; and go about to prove that all the perfections of God did not belong to his human soul, but before you come to your 34th page, you turn your tune, and instead of supposing me to hold this soul to possess all the perfections of the Deity, you charge me with being "beyond all controversy a Unitarian of some stamp -partly Arian and partly Sabellian, a mixture of two ancient heresies which troubled the church," &c. Here you urge my word inferior to show that I am an Arian. Now we see that you can understand this term just as it suits your turn, sometimes to represent me as an Arian, sometimes to show that I make a god of it, and sometimes to represent me as making it fill the judgment-seat in the last day distinct from the divinity. O my brother H., I am sorry you have acted so unfairly, and have manifested so little candor. We both believe in the proper manhood of Christ, and if I cannot go with you to the great length of starting him into being in Bethlehem's manger, devoid of any knowledge or reason, &c., we do believe that as God he was greater than he was as man. And I do believe that as man, or in the human essence he was the representative of the elect, in whom they were chosen, and in whom they were beloved, and as the head of the elect he was the object of God's love, ever since that love was a active principle, going forth to an object, and this is what many sound men in Israel have taught. After Mr. Allen has mentioned a number of sound Baptist ministers in England, among whom he classes Gill, Booth, Ryland, &c., he says, "But above all, as a man of God, a champion for truth, as a minister in the pulpit, as a christian in conversation, as a teacher in Israel, there is Mr. Johnson, who surely is the greatest man this day in Israel." This great man says, "That love cannot be before the object loved, and that the object must be coeval with the love fixed upon the object, which object, says he, is Christ." Allen says, "In this he is surely right, for we know, that the love of God is from everlasting, Jer.31:3, and that Christ, as the object of this love is from everlasting, Prov.8:23, Mic.5:2. And that this love is from the foundation of the world, John 17:23. And that the object was before the world was, John 17:5."

Allen on the same subject has these words, "All the glory of grace to the elect is nothing else but the treasures of Jehovah's love to his beloved image, his beloved one, his Christ unfolded, revealed and communicated to them; for as Adam loved Eve in her first beauty , with one undivided love, as his own image, being flesh of his flesh, therefore not twain, but one; so there is the same union of nature and love between Christ and his church. Now Christ as the bridegroom, was the church's representative as the object of love, of glory , and of complacency; for she had the same union and existence as part of Christ, as Eve had with Adam, before she had her open existence from him; and if Jehovah was at rest in his love, and took up his delights of love, and Christ rejoiced in this love before the world was; then as surely as he now existeth, so he then existed as the object of it, and in the enjoyment of it; or we are finally at a loss how to understand his own words, for what language can be more emphatical or words more strong, Prov.8:30, John 17:5." "Thus you see, [Allen continues] I have given you a concise account of the people called Baptists, taking their rise from John the Baptist, from the example of Christ, from the practice of the apostles, from the testimonies of the ancients, through every age, through every king's reign, through every century to the present day; and the same testimonies are now continued by many Baptist teachers in Israel, whom God has counted faithful, and put them into the ministry , who are not ashamed to own or defend the cause, being set for the defense of the gospel." Spirit of Liberty, page 126, 127. This object of Jehovah's love and glory was the man Christ, as says the same author, page 113, "Now we see plainly that this glory [which Christ had with the Father before the world] was not the glory of the Deity which is essential to Christ, but is a given glory , and it was a glory given to him as man, which was enjoyed by him before the world began, John 17:5, and [continues he] we believe this early and ancient glory of Christ, as the object of Jehovah's delight, according to the word of truth before the world was." And this says he, is "what Christ affirms, and what the poet sweetly sings of, speaking of the song of angels adoring the man in God, in all the glory of his sonship, before the world was, Prov. 8:22,

There the dear man, my Saviour sits;

The God, how bright he shines;

And scatters infinite delights,

On all the happy minds," &c .

 

I have not given these quotations in order to prove the truth of my doctrine, the scriptures alone are my witnesses for this; but as you have accused me of departing from the doctrines of the Baptist Church, I have quoted these authors to show that many of the most orthodox of our denomination have written and believed as I do, therefore you were under a great mistake when you chided me on your 35th page because I did not candidly confess to my brethren that I was not a Baptist in principle; and on page 34 you decide the case in these words, "In fact you are not what you profess to be, a regular Baptist." Well, if you believe me to be such an arch hypocrite and designing impostor, that I profess one thing and believe another, you may urge this as an apology for accusing me of believing many things which I never professed to believe; but be me wicked as I may, or hypocritical as you think me to be, I demand of you to make good your words if you can. The charges and implications which you have published against me are as follows: "For taking up the doctrine of the Trinity and treating it with the utmost contempt" -for opposing the unity of God, the divinity of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost -for being equally hostile to the Trinity with Arians, Sabellians, Socinians, Mahomet, Deists, and Bramins for striking a blow at the foundation of the christian faith [see page 35 of your letter] -and for representing it as a shocking tradition which sprung from the mother of harlots -for having views of God, the object of our worship, entirely opposed to the sentiments of the Baptist denomination -for being an Unitarian, and not a Baptist in principle -for professing one thing and believing another, &c. &c., all of which I do here, in the presence of God and his church, most solemnly deny; and call on you to support these charges and insinuations if you can, or account for them if you please. If they are bare mistakes, which you have made from not being able to understand my book, confess it, and do so no more, and never be in haste to commit yourself in like manner again, and I hope that the many in Zion, who mourn for your folly, will freely forgive you. But if you were forced into these insinuations in order to get something to connive at and oppose, you ought to repent before God for indulging such a spirit. But I would fain hope, that these were mistaken notions, which you had taken of my book, from being too much engaged in better business to read it with attention.

I have not controverted the doctrine of your letter, but only corrected a few of your mistakes. I have, in this volume, taken up the doctrine of the Trinity , and you may see some of my views on that subject. I have in this letter quoted some of the good old Baptist writers; to show that I have not departed from those who have shone as greater lights in Israel than I ever shall, and let you call me Deist, Bramin, Mahometan, Jew, or hypocrite, I hope one day to meet you in heaven, where you will have lost all those little inimical passions, and if I may be admitted [through sovereign grace] to bow around the throne, I think I shall have no hardness against brother H. Then I ought to feel nothing against him here, and if I do know my own heart; I do feel willing to forgive him; but I did think it was my duty to correct his mistakes, because they were calculated to do mischief, and wound the peace & harmony of churches & individuals among ourselves and abroad. This I have done, and as to our different views of the Trinity; I never wish to despise a brother because he cannot see with me in this point, and do hope that the Baptists will never be divided on this subject. I have many dear brethren that believe in the tri-personal scheme, whom I highly esteem, and to whom I can break bread freely, for we all believe in one God in three that bear record in heaven, and in the divinity of Christ and the Holy Ghost; but I do think that the notion of three distinct persons is a great defect in their plan of reasoning, and they think not; and as we are in an imperfect state, and only know in part, let us travel together until we shall know as we are known.

I am yours respectfully,

WILSON THOMPSON.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2006 )
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