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TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL
COLLEGES AND HALLS,
ALL OTHER STUDENTS IN DIVINITY, OR OF THE TRUTH WHICH IS
FAMOUS UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
Of this second address unto you in this kind, whereunto I am encouraged by your fair and candid reception of my former, I desire you would be pleased to take the ensuing account: It is now, as I remember, about a year ago, since one Mr. Biddle (formerly a master of arts of this university, by which title he still owns himself) published two little catechisms, as he calls them ; wherein, under sundry specious pleas and pretences (which you will find discussed in the ensuing treatise), he endeavours to insinuate subtilely into the minds of unstable and unlearned men, the whole substance of the Socinian religion. The man is a person, whom, to my knowledge, I never saw ; nor have been at all curious to inquire after the place of his habitation, or course of his life.
His opposition some years since to the Deity of the Holy Ghost, and now to that of the Father and Son also, is all that he is known to me by. It is not with his person that I have any contest;The stands or falls to his own master. His arguments against the Deity of the Holy Ghost, were somewhile since answered by Cloppenburgh, then professor of divinity at Franeker, in Friesland, since at rest in the Lord ; and, as I have heard, by one in English. His catechisms also are gone over the seas,
whereof farther mention must afterward be made. At their first publishing, complaint being given in by some worthy persons to the honourable counsel against them, as abusive to the majesty and authority of the word of God, and destructive to many important truths of the gospel (which was done without any knowledge of mine), they were pleased 10 send for me, and to require of me the performance of that work, which is here presented unto you. Beiny surprised with their request, I laboured to excuse myself to the utmost, on the account of my many employments in the university and elsewhere, with other reasons of the like nature, which to my thoughts did then occur. Not prevailing with them, they persisting in their command, I looked on it as a call from God to plead for his violated trụth, which by his assistance, and according as I had opportu, nity, I was in general alway resolved to do. Haying, indeed, but newly taken off my hand from the plough of a peculiar controversy, about the perseverance of the saints, in the following whereof I was somewhat tired, the entrance into the work was irksome and burdensome unto me; after some progress made, finding, the searching into, and discussing of the important truths opposed, of very good use to myself, I have been carried through the whole (according as I could break off my daily pressing occasions to attend unto it) with much cheerfulness and alacrity of mind. And this was the reason, why, finding Mr. B. came short of giving a fair occasion to the full vindication of many heads of religion by him oppugned, I have called in to his assistance and society one of his great masters, namely, Valentinus Smalcius, and his catechism (commonly called the Racovian), with the expositions of the places of Scripture contended about by the learned Grotius,
MEMOIRS OF HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS,
BY WILLIAM ORME.
VINDICIÆ EVANGELICÆ: OR, THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL