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Unitarians

Unitarians, or believers in One God, is a term that in its widest sense would cover Jews, Mohammedans, and many sects of the Church; but it is generally restricted to those of modern times in England and her colonies, including America, who denied the divinity of Christ, or at any rate His equality with the Father. The body of Unitarians, as we now know it, dates from 1730, its great preacher having been a man named Emlyn. The doctrines of Unitarianism are by no means new; the Sabellians and Arians of the early Church held similar doctrines, and the Athanasian Creed was compiled to counteract the views of the Arians. Similar things have also prevailed at different times in parts of the English Church, and the holders of them have been persecuted. The English Unitarians have sometimes been held to have been the representatives of the Presbyterians driven out by the Act of Uniformity. They had troublous times until the passing of the Toleration Act in 1689, but have since that time been left very much to their own devices. Some hold that Christ was a good man who suffered for truth's sake, while others place Him in a sort of quasi-divine position. Some are advocates of adult, others of infant baptism. Their system is Congregational, so there is no formulated general creed. Where they observe the Lord's Supper it is as a commemorative act, and not as a sacrament. among writers who have had influence among them may be mentioned Priestly, Channing, Emerson, and Martineau.

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