Socinianism

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Order of Contents

Against the System of Socinianism
.       Articles
.       Books
.       Latin  4

Specific Doctrines
.       Fundamentals
.       Divine Justice
.       Eternity & Sonship of Christ
.       Priesthood of Christ
.       Satisfaction
.       Justification
.       On Moral Law & Covenant Theology
.       General Resurrection
.       Ministry
.       Civil Toleration

Historical Theology
Bibliography

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Article

Chyenell, Francis – Truth Triumphing Over Error & Heresy, or a Relation of a Publc Disputation at Oxford…  1646, between Master Cheynell, a member of the [Westminster] Assembly & Master Erbury, the Seeker & Socinian. Wherein the Socinian Tenets Maintained by Master Erbury are Laid Down & Master Cheynell’s Clear Confutation of Them, to the joy & satisfaction of Many Hundreds There Present, is Declared…  (London, 1647)  7 pp.

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Books

1600’s

Cheynell, Francis – The Rise, Growth & Danger of Socinianism…  (London, 1643)  75 pp.

Leigh, Edward – A System or Body of Divinity…  wherein the Fundamentals & Main Grounds of Religion are Opened, the Contrary Errors Refuted, most of the Controversies Between us, the Papists, Arminians & Socinians Discussed & Handled…  (London, 1654)

Owen, John – Vindiciae Evangelicae, or the Mystery of the Gospel Vindicated, & Socinianism Examined: in the Consideration & Confutation of a Catechism called, ‘A Scripture Catechism’, written by J. Biddle, and the catechism of Valentinus Smalcius, Commonly Called, ‘The Racovian Catechism’…  (Oxford, 1655)  790 pp.

Lawson, George – An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, wherein the Text is Cleared, [the Book] Theopolitica [by Lawson, is] Improved, the Socinian Comment[ary] Examined  (London, 1662)

Edwards, John

Some Thoughts Concerning the Several Causes & Occasions of Atheism, Especially in the Present Age with some Brief Reflections on Socinianism, and on a Late Book Entitled, The Reasonableness of Christianity as Delivered in the Scriptures  (London, 1695)  126 pp.

The Socinian Creed, or, A Brief Account of the Professed Tenets & Doctrines of the Foreign & English Socinians, wherein is showed the tendency of them to irreligion & atheism, with proper antidotes against them  (London, 1697)  264 pp.

This Edwards (1637-1716) was a significant orthodox, reformed, Anglican theologian of his day. 

Edwards, Jonathan – A Preservative Against Socinianism: showing the Direct & Plain Opposition Between it & the Religion Revealed by God in the Holy Scriptures  Parts 1-3 of 4  (Oxford, 1698)  with appended: ‘Remarks upon a Book Lately Published by Dr. William Sherlock…  entitled, A Modest Examination of the Oxford Decree, etc.’ (respecting the rising Cartesian Tritheism of three consciousnesses in God) and ‘The Exposition Given by my Lord Bishop of Sarum of the Second Article of our Religion Examined: of the Word or Son of God, which was made Very Man’

This Jonathan Edwards (1629–1712) was not the New England divine, but was an Anglican academic, clergyman, theologian and Principal of Jesus College, Oxford.

Gailhard, Jean – The Epistle & Preface to the Book Against the Blasphemous Socinian Heresy Vindicated, & the Charge Therein Against Socinianism made Good, in Answer to Two Letters  (London, 1698)

Gailhard was a gentleman.

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1700’s

Buerdsell, James – Discourses & Essays on Several Subjects Relating Chiefly to the Controversies of these Times, Especially with the Socinians, Deists, Enthusiasts & Sceptics  (1700, Oxford)

Buerdsell’s (c.1669-1700) theological tradition is uncategorized by PRDL.

The Scottish Associate Synod (Seceders) – A Warning Against Socinianism…  in which Particular Notice is Taken of a Late Publication Entitled, A Practical Essay upon the Death of Jesus Christ, by Dr. M’Gill, one of the Ministers of Ayr…  (Falkirk: 1788)  145 pp.

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Latin

Books

1600’s

Hoornbeek, Johannes – Socinianism Confuted, vol. 12  (Amsterdam, 1650/62)  ToC 1, 2

Hoornbeek goes through the whole system of Socinianism; hence this work is virtually a polemical systematic theology.

Maresius, Samuel – The Hydra of Socinianism Expunged, vol. 1 (God & Attributes, Works of), 2 (Christian Religion, Precepts of Christ), 3 (Groningen, 1651)  Tables of contents: 12 (vol. 3 has no table of contents, though it does have indexes)

Maccovius, Johannes

‘The False Principles of the Socinians…’, pp. 549-576  in The False First-Principles of the Papists, Socinians, Lutherans, Arminians, Anabaptists…  in Johannes Maccovius Revived, or Manuscripts of his…  ed. Nicolaas Arnoldi  (Amsterdam, 1659)

Maccovius (1588-1644).  The brief topical chapters are laid out in systematic order.

Table of Contents

1. Sacred Scripture  549
2. God  551

Socinian: “The term ‘God’, on the account of God, is common, not truly proper.”

S: “‘Jehova’ is not the proper name of God.”  552

S: “The divine nature is not known.”

S: “The attributes of God really differ from God.”

S: “The true God is not one.”

S: “Only God is called true, not because others are not true, but because He is most excellently true; so only God is called true, only wise, good, etc.”

S: “Christ from the Mediatorial power is adored with religious worship.”  553

“This is our judment: that the Mediatorial office is the impulsive cause, not truly the formal cause of the worship of Him, as they reckon it.”

S: “God alone is not eternal.”

S: “God is not inifnite in essence.”

S: “God does not know future contingencies.”

S: “God knows things because they are; yet not that they are because He knows and decrees [them].”

S: “God knows solely by act; He does not know all.”

“False Principle: Because He learns some things daily which before He had not known; these sorts of things are contingencies.”

S: “God wills things because of the good; they are not good because He wills them.”  554

“False Principle: Because God depends on external objects.”

S: “The will of God is mutable.”

S: “God does not by one volition will all things.”

S: “Immensity is not suitable to God.”

S: “God is able to forgive sins without accepting a satisfaction on account of his decree and nature, lest because no [satisfaction] has been provided, so He may not be forgiving.”

“Our theologians do not come together on this: some say that He is able by nature, but on account of a decree He is not able, because no pact absolves the guitly, says the Scripture.  However others determine that not only on the account of the decree, but also by reason of nature He is not able not to hate sin.

False Principle: Anyone is able to forgive his neighbor without accepting a satisfaction; and if this is allowable for men, much more it is for God.”

S: “God is in anything; the whole [of Him] is not; otherwise if the whole may be in one thing, in another thing it is not.”  555

S: “Mercy is not essential to God.”

3. The Most Holy Trinity  555

Socinian: “The Trinity is not to be believed.”  555

S: “There are not three persons in the divine essence.”

S: “The divine essence, because it is singular and indivisible, is incommunicable.”  556

S: “Whatever is not in the divine essence, is the person.”

S: “Christ being begotten is not from the Father from eternity.”

S: “What has been begotten, has begun.”  556

4. The Internal Actions of God  558

Socinian: “The internal actions of God are different from God Himself.”

S: “The divine intellect and will differ from Himself, as a part of Him from Himself.”

S: “The decree of God is not God.”

S: “There is no definitite election.”

S: “It is in the power of man that he is chosen or not chosen.”

5. The Actions of God ad extra  560

S: “The impulsive and meritorious cause of the external actions of God is given over [to men].”  560

S: “God did not create time.”

S: “God did not make the place which He is in.”

S: “God did not make Prime Matter.”

S: “God did not make anything from nothing.”  560

6. Providence of God  560
7. Death & Satisfaction of Christ  563
8. Faith  565
9. Repentance  567
10. Church  567
11. Sacraments  568
12. Lord’s Supper  571
13. Justification, Righteousness & Good Works  573
14. Magistracy  575
15. Eternal Death  576

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Johannes Maccovius Revived, or Manuscripts of his…  ed. Nicolaas Arnoldi  (Amsterdam, 1659)

Anti-Socinus  ToC

Anti-Goslawski, or Goslawski Enervated, before is set forth that which is Contra Keckerman

Goslawski was a Socinian.  Keckerman was reformed.  He is argued against at the end of pt. 1, but especially in parts 2-3.

Cases of Conscience Compiled, to the Norm of the Doctrine of Socinianism, by the Mode of a Dialogue

Theological Lectures which Some Things are Refuted out of the Catechism of Socinus

Spanheim, Jr., Frederic – A Collection of Anti-Socinianism, or a Chain of Controversies Agitated with Today’s Socinians, Distributed in School [Collegiales] Disputations  (Heidelberg, 1661)  40 pp.  There is no table of contents

Spanheim, Jr. (1632-1701) was a German reformed professor of theology at Heidelberg and Leiden, and son of Frederic Spanheim, Sr. (d. 1649).

Table of Contents

Preface  3
On the Principle of Faith  4
On Religion, & its Heads, in General  6
On the Knowledge, Definition, Names & Attributes of God  7
On the Sacred Trinity & Divine Persons  10
On the Immanent & Transient Actions of God  13
On the Instituted State of the First Man  15
On the Forsaken [Destituto] State of Man  16
On the Restored State of Man, & First, the Covenant of Grace  19
On the Person & Office of Christ the Mediator  24
On the Christian Church  29
On Efficacious Calling & Faith  30
On the Justification of a Human Sinner  32
On Sanctification  34
On Perseverance  35
On the Christian Magistrate & Sacred Ministry  36
On the Sacraments in General & Specific  37
On the Last State of Man  39

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On the Fundamentals

Edwards, John – Socinianism Unmasked, a Discourse Showing the Unreasonableness of a Late Writer’s Opinion Concerning the Necessity of Only One Article of Christian Faith, & of his Other Assertions in his Late Book Entituled, The Reasonableness of Christianity as Delivered in the Scriptures, & in his Vindication of it…  (London, 1696)

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On Divine Justice

Owen, John – A Dissertation on Divine Justice, or the Claims of Vindicatory Justice Asserted: in this Work that Essential Property of the Divine Nature is Demonstrated from the Sacred Writings & Clearly Defended against Socinus & his followers…  (London, [n.d.])  also in vol. 10 of his Works.

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On the Eternity & Sonship of Christ

Manton, Thomas – Christ’s Eternal Existence, & the Dignity of his Person Asserted & Proved in Opposition to the Doctrine of the Socinians, in [8] Several Sermons on Col. 1:17-21  (London, 1685)

Jacomb, Thomas – The One-Proper Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ, Illustrated & Established from the Holy Scriptures in Opposition Unto the Doctrine of Arians & Socinians: in a Discourse from Rom. 8:3  (d. 1687; Hugh Mitchell, 1791)

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On the Priesthood of Christ

Owen, John – A Continuation of the Exposition of…  Hebrews, viz, on the Sixth, Seventh, Eight, Ninth & Tenth Chapters: wherein together with the Explication of the Text & Context, the Priesthood of Christ…  are Declared, Explained & Confirmed: as also…  the Doctrine of the Principal Writers of the Socinians about these things, are Examined & Disproved  (London, 1680)

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On the Satisfaction

Ferguson, Robert – Justification Only upon a Satisfaction, or the Necessity & Verity of the Satisfaction of Christ as the Alone Ground of Remission of Sin: Asserted & Opened Against the Socinians: together with an Appendix in Vindication of a Sermon Preached on Heb. 2:10, from the Exceptions of H. W. in a Pamphlet Called, ‘The Freeness of God’s Grace in the Forgiveness of Sins by Jesus Christ’  (London, 1668)  320 pp.

Allinga, Petrus – The Satisfaction of Christ, Stated & Defended, Against the Socinians: in Two Parts  tr. Thomas Bell  (d. 1692; Glasgow, 1790)  ToC

Williams, Daniel – An End to Discord, wherein is Demonstrated that No Doctrinal Controversy Remains Between the Presbyterian & Congregational Ministers Fit to Justify Longer Divisions: with a True Account of Socinianism as to the Satisfaction of Christ  (London, 1699)

Williams (c. 1643–1716) was a British benefactor and dissenting, presbyterian minister and theologian in England.  He is known largely for the legacy he left which led to the creation of Dr Williams’s Library, a center for research on English Dissenters.

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On Justification

Walker, George – Socinianism in the Fundamental Point of Justification Discovered & Confuted, or, An Answer to a Written Pamphlet Maintaining that Faith is in a Proper Sense without a Trope Imputed to Believers in Justification, wherein the Socinian Fallacies are Discovered & Confuted, & the True Christian Doctrine Maintained…  (London, 1641)

Burgess, Anthony – The True Doctrine of Justification Asserted & Vindicated, from the Errors of Papists, Arminians, Socinians & More Especially Antinomians in 30 Lectures Preached…  (London, 1651)

Lathom, Paul – Christ Crucified, or the Doctrine of the Gospel Asserted Against Pelagian & Socinian Errors Revived under the Notion of New Lights: wherein also the original, occasion & progress of errors are set down…  (London, 1666)

Williams, Daniel – ch. 5, ‘Socinian Notions of Justification’  in An End to Discord…  (London, 1699), pp. 48-54

Williams (c. 1643–1716) was a British benefactor and dissenting, presbyterian minister and theologian in England.  He is known largely for the legacy he left which led to the creation of Dr Williams’s Library, a center for research on English Dissenters.

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On the Moral Law & Covenant Theology

Burgess, Anthony – Vindiciae Legis, or, A Vindication of the Moral Law & the Covenants, from the Errors of Papists, Arminians, Socinians & more Especially, Antinomians in 30 Lectures Preached…  (London, 1647)

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On the General Resurrection

Article

Becconsall, Thomas – The Doctrine of a General Resurrection, wherein the Identity of the Rising Body is Asserted Against the Socinians & Sceptics: in a Sermon Preached before the University at St. Mary’s in Oxford…  (Oxford, 1697)

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On the Ministry

Hall, Thomas – An Apology for the Ministry & its Maintenance, wherein is Set Forth the Necessity, Dignity & Efficacy of a Gospel-Ministry Against the Socinians, Swenckfieldians, Weigelians, Anabaptists, Enthusiasts, Familists, Seekers, Quakers, Levellers, Libertines & the Rest of that Rout…  (London, 1660)

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On Civil Toleration

Rutherford, Samuel – A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience: Tending to Resolve Doubts moved by Mr. John Goodwin, John Baptist, Dr. Jeremy Taylor, the Belgic Arminians, Socinians & other Authors contending for lawless liberty, or licentious toleration of sects & heresies  (London, 1649)

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Historical Theology

1800’s

Cunningham, William – ‘The Socinian Controversy’  (1863)  80 pp.  from his Historical Theology, vol. 2, p. 155 ff.

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2000’s

ed. Muller, Richard et al. – Oxford Handbook on Early Modern Theology

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Bibliography

Knijff & Visser – Bibliographia Sociniana. A Bibliographical Reference Tool for the Study of Dutch Socinianism & Antitrinitarianism  (Hilversum: Verloren, 2004)

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Related Pages