Crellius Samuel, (Germ. Krell,) and his brother Paul, were the last descendants of the Polish-Brethren, who attained to any considerable distinction in the theological world. Had it been compatible with the design of the present work to extend it beyond the seventeenth century, a later position might have been assigned to them; for Samuel's death did not take place till 1747, and Paul was living as late as the year 1760. Both, however, had arrived at man's estate before the close of the seventeenth century; and Samuel had by that time distinguished himself as an author. They were the grandchildren of the celebrated John Crellius; and some account of them will form a suitable close to that venerable list of names, which the Socinian Church has contributed to these pages. John Crellius, the elder, had three sons, Theophilus, Christopher and John ; and the second of these was the father of Samuel and Paul.
Crellius Samuel was born in the month of March, 1660. Little is known of the first few years of his life, except that he spent part of his childhood in England, to which his father Drought him at the early age of seven, for the purpose of placing him under the charge of Mrs. Stuckey, who had kindly offered to he at the expense of his education. How long he remained with this benevolent woman is unknown; but it was probably no great length of time, for Bock, who passes over this incident in his life, informs us, that he pursued the studies of his youth in the gymnasium of the Arminians at Amsterdam. In 1680, he went to Berlin, and after having spent some time there, proceeded to Prussia. He then removed to Kcenigswald, near Frankfort on the Oder, where he lived many years, discharging the duties of the Christian ministry among the Unitarians, after the death of Preussius, to whom he was a son-in-law, and indeed in his life-time, after he was laid aside. In 1687, at the Synod of Zullichau, he was chosen into the number of Elders of the Synod. From this place he made occasional journeys to Frankfort and Berlin. During one of these journeys he appears to have gone to Holland, and passed over thence into England; for he is mentioned as having enjoyed a personal acquaintance with Archbishop Tillotson, in reference to which Jortin says, "Tillotson printed the Sermons on the Divinity of Christ to vindicate himself from the charge of Socinianism, that is, from an accusation entirely groundless. I have been told that Crellius, a Socinian, and a descendant of the more celebrated Crellius, used, when he came over hither, to visit the Archbishop, and to converse with him on this head, and declared that Tillotson had often disputed with him in a friendly way upon the subject of the Trinity, and that he was the best reasoner, and had the most to say for himself, of any adversary he had ever encountered." If Jortin was rightly informed on this subject, and referred to Samuel Crellius, which there seems little reason to doubt, Bock must have overlooked this journey, for Tillotson died in 1694, and Bock alludes to no visit to this country till 1697. In that year, he informs us, Samuel Crellius went to Holland, and from Holland made a voyage to England, and published in London his work on "The Faith of the Primitive Christians proved from Barnabas, Hernias and Clemens Romanus, in Opposition to Bishop Bull's Defence of the Nicene Faith." (Vide No. 3.) During his stay in England he was favoured with the patronage of the Earl of Shaftesbury; and from this country he probably returned to Holland, where he published his work, entitled, "A Compendium of New Thoughts concerning the first and second Adam." He then went back to Germany, and again visited Berlin, where he was courteously received by Ancillon, to whom he carried letters of recommendation from Reinier Leers, the bookseller. John Conrad Dippel, the Physician, who is better known as an author by the designation of the Christian Democritus, once told Pfaff, that he reduced Crellius to silence, in a disputation which he held with him at Berlin. Crellius, after his return into Germany, took up his residence a second time at Kcenigswald, where he lived for some years, and exercised the ministerial office among the Antitrinitarians of the March of Brandenburg, and Silesia; making frequent visits to Berlin, where he contracted a friendship with some learned men, particularly with La Croze, to whom he addressed several letters between the years 1710 and 1725, which were published in the "Thesaurus Epistolicus La-Crozianus."
Crellius applied for admission into the University of Halle during the Rectorship of Stryckius, but met with a refusal. In later times the Rectors of the German Universities have been less scrupulous.
About the end of the year 1725, Crellius again visited England, where he published his remarks on "The Proem of John's Gospel" : and towards the end of April, 1727, he returned to Holland. He wrote thus on the 17th of July, 1727, from Amsterdam, to La Croze. "I am now, for cogent reasons, fixed here ; though I leave Germany with reluctance, and am very unwilling to lose your learned and interesting society." In the same letter he gives some particulars respecting the English Unitarians of that day, mentioning the most eminent by name, and describing his intercourse with their great opponent, Waterland, in whom we see a fine example of politeness, candour and moderation. This part of the letter has been translated by James Yates, Esq., and was inserted in the first volume of the New Series of the "Christian Reformer," from which the following extract is borrowed. "Having been chiefly intent in England on editing my book, I have become acquainted with only Theologians of the English Church,—Bennett; Reading, the librarian of Sion College, which I used to frequent; Venn, the Minister of the parish in which I lived thirteen months; and the very celebrated Daniel Waterland, who was there the chief defender of Athanasianism. If from these four we may form a judgment of the other orthodox Theologians of England, you will scarcely find any where upon earth any so affable and kind to those who are heterodox. Venn took me to Waterland. We had a pleasant conversation together; I spent some hours with him; he kept me to supper. When on my departure from England I called to take leave of him, although he had then looked through my book, he received me with the same, if not with greater kindness than before, and continued to talk with a serene countenance concerning my book with one or two of his friends. He said, notwithstanding the difference between us on an important subject, that others of my observations in the book pleased him much, and that he wished to see published my other unedited writings, of which I had made mention in the book. He said, that I had done well in publishing such things in Latin, that they might be entirely settled by learned men. 'If,' said he, Doctor Samuel Clarke had also published his book (the Scripture Trinity) in Latin, he would not have so offended the English clergy.' He asked me, if ever I should return to England, to visit him; and thus I departed from him, after I had prayed for all good things for him, and he for me. Neither Photinus, nor even Arius, would have departed thus from Athanasius. Of the London Unitarians, the greater part, unless I am mistaken, are Arians, except one or two whom I know, and who maintain the sentiments of Photinus, or of Socinus. And those who are in London remain partly in the Church of England, partly among the Presbyterians and Anabaptists, except a very few, to whom William Whiston administers the Lord's Supper four times a year in the house of his son-in-law. But at Exeter the Presbyterians do not allow Arians in their body, on which account the Arians, to the number of about three hundred, have formed a separate congregation, and have their own Preachers. There they meet openly and in peace to attend sermons and their sacred rites without being disturbed by the Magistrate. James Peirce, a man of first-rate learning, who died last year, was their Minister. Daniel Whitby, who died about the same time, almost ninety years of age, left a book of 'Retractations,' in which he corrects various passages of his own books which were not sufficiently heretical, and clearly shews his Unitarianism. That book was going through the press at London, when I came away at the end of April. I also conversed sometimes with the illustrious Newton, who died in the month of March of the current year, aged eighty-five. He wished to read my book while it was passing through the press, because it seemed to contain something new, and he did read it." On taking his leave, Sir Isaac made Crellius a very handsome present; but whether in money, or not, is doubtful.
During Crellius's stay in Holland, as well as in England, he enjoyed the friendship of several men of eminence. The Earl of Shaftesbury noticed him in England; and in Holland he formed the acquaintance of Reinier Leers, Bayle and others. In the epistolary correspondence of Bayle, there is extant a letter of his to Crellius; which, as it is a proof of his great regard for him, and explains some circumstances of his history, may be inserted here.
"Illustrious Sir,—I acknowledge myself unequal to express the great obligations, which I owe to you, for the luminous and copious observations and collections about * * * with which you have enriched me. I will endeavour, by the aid of them, to illustrate this topic of history in the Supplement of my Dictionary, which I do not know when we shall begin to print: nor shall I omit to avail myself of the additions you propose, which are truly excellent, and which shew the man of judgment, and penetrating genius. I say this, not for the sake of flattery, but with perfect sincerity. It was particularly grateful to me, illustrious Sir, to receive such a mark of your friendship and diligence; but I am ashamed and grieved, that no opportunity has presented itself, of testifying my gratitude. Should any offer, I shall cheerfully embrace it.
"I hear that your brother, Paul Crellius, who does honour to his name, is at Cambridge, and labours assiduously to improve himself in the higher branches of learning. Great advantage will hence accrue to the love of his patron, the Earl of Shaftesbury, towards ancient literature.
"Our friend Leers begs his respects, and wishes you all happiness. Accept the same fervent wishes from myself. Farewell, eminent Sir, and continue to favour with your regard, Your affectionate
"Rotterdam, 21st June, 1706."Bayle."
Crellius was acquainted with Grabe in England, and had frequent conversations with him. Grabe admired his honesty and straight-forwardness, and bore a strong testimony to his assiduous investigation of antiquity. John Christopher Wolfius, in a letter to La Croze, dated Hamburgh, Oct. 6th, 1716, mentions the circumstance of his having heard, that the celebrated Hudson, who had learnt from others to what religious party Crellius belonged, refused him admission to the Bodleian Library, fearing lest, after the example of Sandius, he should make extracts from the manuscripts and books, which he thought would illustrate and set off what Dr. Hudson deemed a very bad cause. But his affability of manners, and singular erudition, procured him patrons and friends of great distinction: for he had applied himself to sacred and profane literature from his earliest years, and particularly to Biblical Antiquities, and Ecclesiastical History.
In Germany he was highly esteemed by La Croze, who, however, let no opportunity escape, in the course of their correspondence, of alluding to their difference of opinion, and expressing the grief which Crellius's religious sentiments gave him. For instance, he writes thus in his fourth letter, dated April, 1727. "I do not at all wonder, that Artemonius differs from me; for I am now acquainted with the inmost feelings of his mind, and earnestly pray that they may not affect his eternal salvation. I love him, and highly prize the excellent endowments of his mind. We will talk more upon this subject when you return hither, for I can hardly think that you will remain in Holland for ever, although you seem to say so." In the fifth letter, written June 20th, 1729, La Croze expresses himself thus. "I have taken care that your Defence should be deposited in the Royal Library." "My own opinion of it I will not obtrude here: for what weight would that have with you? I wish to spend the remainder of my life in peace: but I greatly pity you, who employ your good abilities, and uncommon learning, in lessening the dignity of our Saviour. I know that you see the matter in a different light; but I would have you reflect, that, in studies of this nature, your eternal salvation is at stake, the loss of which I deem the most formidable of all things. In my own orthodox opinion I shall be firm and constant unto death: yet I will neither dispute, nor quarrel. The truth of my own religious sentiments is with me a matter of so much certainty, that it cannot be destroyed by any change of the sacred text, or by any sophistical objection." In the sixth letter, he says, "I have always loved you, and it is with great reluctance that I differ in opinion, on the most important points, from so moderate and good a man. As you are such, I wish you were of our party. Some time, perchance, it will be so; and I heartily pray to God, that he may accomplish it as soon as possible. Then there will be joy in heaven, and in the minds of your friends, among whom I may, with reason, claim almost the first place." In a letter to Mosheim, written in October, 1718, La Croze describes Crellius as "a man, than whom, if you except his incurable heresy, there is no one better, or more serious;" adding, that he sometimes came from his retreat to Berlin, and visited him.
It seems highly probable, that Crellius's chief support arose from the sums which he received from the booksellers, as copyright money for his works, which gained him a great name, and procured him the rank of a leader among the Socinians. All the writings which he published, are entitled, by the learning and literary application which they display, to great praise. He died at Amsterdam, May 12th, 1747, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.
In a literary periodical, published at Hamburgh in 1747, it is said, that Crellius repented of his errors towards the close of his life, and gave plain proofs of the sincerity of this repentance. In the same periodical, Paul Burger, Archdeacon of Herspruck, in the year following, endeavoured to confirm the probability of this rumour, by stating, that, when he lived at Amsterdam, in 1731, Crellius declared to him, that in some conversations with the celebrated Schaaf, at Leyden, he had been led to doubt on some points, and was still unsettled in his judgment respecting them. But in the same periodical, for 1749, we are informed, that Crellius remained a Unitarian to his last breath; and an assurance to the same effect was repeatedly given to Bock by Paul, the brother of Samuel Crellius. In vain, therefore, has Dr. Richter, the Moravian Physician, under the feigned name of Aletophilus Tacitus, endeavoured to claim Crellius, as one of the sect of Herrnhutters; although we can readily admit, that, for eleven years, as the same writer informs us, he was acquainted with the Herrnhutters, and conversed with them, and for the last two years of his life outwardly joined their religious society, and attended their public services.
In a note, by the Rev. B. Latrobe, to Crantz's "History of the Moravian Brethren," occurs the following paragraph, relating to Crellius's alleged renunciation of the Unitarian faith. "Samuel Crellius was a Socinian, and a leader of that party. He is still quoted as one of their strongest advocates: but the endless mercy of our Lord was also manifest in him. He not only rejoiced to see his daughters bow their knees to the crucified; but he himself turned to the Lord, called upon him as his Lord and his God, and found at the end of his life no consolation but in the atonement by the blood of Jesus, and wished that all his books could die with him. This has been testified, not only by his daughters, but by all that were with him before his end." This note was transferred to the Eclectic Review for April, 1810. But the statements which it contains, though circumstantial and even plausible, must have originated in a misconception of Crellius's true sentiments. In reference to this subject, Mr. Frederick Adrian Vander Kemp, of Oldenbarneveld, (N. Y.,) a native of Holland, thus writes. "I do not hesitate in the least to declare that note in the Eclectic Review without any truth. I am persuaded I must have heard of the fact, if it were as it is asserted. Venema, who wrote against Crellius, and respected him; La Croze, who loved him, and was his constant correspondent, and bewailed his errors, as is evident from their correspondence,—never suspected it. Till his death, Crellius was a member and a patron of the Collegiants at Amsterdam, who were generally Unitarians. He went to their place of meeting with his sister every Sabbathday, when they were the only remaining members, and she proposed to serve their God at home, which he declined, full in hope of a revival, and he lived till he did see the congregation again increased to seventy. This I have often been told by respectable members of that congregation, who at that time could not suspect that Crellius's religious opinions would stand in need of their evidence. I know all this is negative proof. I shall therefore copy you the opinion of Bockius, whose orthodoxy as a Trinitarian was, as far as I know, never doubted." He then quotes what Bock says upon this subject, and the substance of which is given above; adding, from the same writer, "Stosch, in his History of the Eighteenth Century, which Jablonski has made the third volume of his Ecclesiastical History, page 424, says, 'I remember that Crellius, when I visited him at Amsterdam, in 1742, and we conversed much on various doctrines of Christianity, declared to me with some warmth, that he did not adopt the system of Socinus, but rather with his whole heart believed the doctrine of the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, in the same sense in which it is taught by the Remonstrants, and that he was persuaded that through Jesus Christ all men would at some time be saved, and delivered from the pains of hell.' He added that he was certain that there were now to be found few or no Socinians, properly so called.' In Strodman's Europ. Litter., Tom. I. p. 283, Crellius himself thus writes. 'I have at all times as well among the Unitarians as the Remonstrants, taught the expiatory sacrifice of Christ, and my instructions have not been contradicted.'" (Fred. Sam. Bock, Hist. Antitrin. Lips. 1774, Tom. I. Pt. i. pp. 167, 168.) From these statements it would appear, that Crellius's views resembled those of Martin Ruarus and Jonas Schlichtingius, who agreed with the main body of the Socinians in their views respecting the person of Christ, but with the Remonstrants, as regards the doctrine of our Lord's vicarious satisfaction. Stosch, mentioned above by Bock, says, "It seems to me to be asserted without good reason, that Crellius renounced his errors before his death." The joint testimony of two such writers as Stosch and Bock, on a subject of this nature, is peculiarly valuable; for both are well known to have been Trinitarians, and persons whose orthodoxy was above suspicion. The learned Mosheun corroborates their testimony; for he says, "Crellius, though he was a professor of Theology among the Socinians, yet differed in his opinions, about many points of doctrine, from the sentiments of Socinus and the Racovian Catechism, and would not be called a Socinian, but an Artemonite, from Artemon, who lived under the reign of the Emperor Severus, and denied the pre-existence of Jesus Christ." But Mosheim is altogether silent respecting any change of opinion which Crellius underwent, towards the close of his life; and we may rest assured, that this would not have been the case, had there been any truth in the statement of the Rev. B. Latrobe.
Crellius himself has explained, in a letter to a friend, which we meet with in the correspondence of La Croze, what a review of his works will more fully shew, the difference of his sentiments from those of the Socinians, and the points of agreement between them. (Thesaur. Epist. La Crozianus, T. I. p. 110.) He begins thus: "You will not be displeased, I think, with my addressing you as a Brother; since even the Rev. James Abbadie, that determined antagonist of the Unitarians, than whom no one has made a bolder attack upon Socinus, does not hesitate to call the followers of Socinus 'erring Brethren,' at the beginning of his 'Treatise on the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.' You know, that I avowedly leave Socinus, where he was Socinus, that is, where he held peculiar opinions of his own. In the doctrine of One God, the Father, I persist without wavering. As regards other points, held in common by the orthodox of different parties, I think with them, or approach nearly to them. Not only I, but the strict followers of Socinus, have always detested and held in abomination the doctrine of Mahomet. Nor do I see how those, who believe that Christ is not only a prophet superior to all others, but Lord of heaven and earth, united as closely as possible with the Father, and actually a partaker of his government, can become obnoxious to the charge of Mahometanism, more than other Christians. I confess, that those monsters of Unitarians, who deny the invocation of Christ, or regard him only as a prophet, who is to reign for a thousand years, may easily arrive at such a pitch of insanity; as Neuser, the father of that impious doctrine, is said to have done. I say the father, for Francis Davidis, at the time when, along with George Blandrata, he refuted George Major, the Wittenherg Professor, laid it down, that the Lord Jesus was an object of invocation, as appears from more than one part of that work. Neuser, in no obscure terms, ascribes to himself the invention of this doctrine, and therefore seems to have seduced Francis. Nay, the orthodox not unfrequently go directly over to the camp of the Turks, and sometimes of the Jews; nor, when about to do so, have they any occasion to turn aside to Socinus in their way. "Whereas, on the contrary, it does not appear from any example, as far as I know, that any follower of Socinus in the invocation of Christ, ever went over to the Turks, not even when, in 1658 and 1660, they were banished from Poland, which borders upon Turkey. And how could they, who invoke the Lord Jesus speedily to destroy the abominable doctrine of the impure Mahomet, and do this both in public and in private, as appears from the books of prayers and discourses, published by them at different times, easily go over to the Turks?"
In another letter to La Croze, (1. c. T. I. p. 103,) he says, "I have really found out scarcely anything that is new. I have corrected the Christology of Socinus from Unitarian Ecclesiastical Antiquity; I have rendered it, if I do not deceive myself, more sublime, and rather more acceptable to the moderate orthodox party; and I have endeavoured to bring back Christian Theology to that state, in which it seems to me to have been, when Justin Martyr began to innovate. Would that Divines, wearied out with so many abstruse conceptions and disquisitions concerning the Trinity, would come back to the same point! Let the modes of expression invented by men be discarded: let us dismiss the terms hypostasis, (in the metaphysical sense,) three persons, generation, eternal procession, perichoresisor circumincession, personal union, &c.: let us not urge, or obtrude upon our neighbour, matters which we ourselves do not understand, and which he does not see laid down in Scripture; and there will remain to us a Theology, intelligible even to a clown, or any illiterate person, namely, God the Father; the man Christ Jesus, intimately and inseparably united to God the Father; and the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son (that is, immediately receiving commands and instructions); whom the Father alone and the Son send and dispatch to us. Let those terms, I say, which the Holy Spirit has not uttered, be discarded; and let those doctrines not be obtruded upon others, but let us have charity as a grain of mustard-seed; and how easy will then be a union, with ecclesiastical toleration, of Athanasius with Socinus, as reformed and corrected by me! But let the Platonic Logos, and the Arian preexistent spirit, created before the world, and monstrously and fatally united with the son of man, without a human soul, in the womb of the Virgin, be banished to the Utopia from which it came."
Crellius, on all occasions, declined taking his denomination from Socinus, as he did not think with him on all points. Although, in adopting and defending Unitarianism, he may be classed in general with Socinians, yet he embraced the principles of the Artemonites in particular, and thought that these would in process of time obtain the assent of the whole world. The Artemonites, among whom Crellius was so anxious to be classed, took their name from Artemon, or Artemas, who flourished towards the close of the second century. According to Theodoret, Artemon agreed with the orthodox in acknowledging a Supreme Deity, and owning him to be the Creator of the universe: but he said, that our Lord was a mere man, born of a virgin, and superior in virtue to the prophets. He said also, that this was the doctrine of the Apostles; and affirmed that, since the time of the Apostles, some had taught the divinity of Christ without reason. (Lardner's Hist, of Heretics, Chap. xvi. Sect, i.)
Perhaps we cannot sum up what has now been said, respecting the religious opinions of Samuel Crellius, in more appropriate terms than the following, extracted from a communication of Dr. T. Rees to the "Christian Reformer" (N. S. Vol. II. 1835, p. 30). "It has been sometimes doubted whether Samuel Crellius ought to be ranked with the Socinian writers, partly from the peculiarity of some of his opinions, and partly on account of his own assertion that he was not a Socinian. But on referring to his writings it will be seen, that all that he really meant by this denial was, that he had not adopted the whole of the proper Socinian scheme. But though there might be some tenets held by his Polish ancestors and brethren which formed no part of his creed, yet with respect to the great leading principles of Unitarianism, as they relate to the unity of God and the person of Christ, he was decidedly of the Socinian school,—it being the main object of his printed works to state and defend its distinguishing dogmas."
If we are to believe Bock, however, Samuel Crellius burnt with an ardent desire of conviction respecting the orthodox faith; as a proof of which he states, that Crellius once went to Halle, in Saxony, and sought a conference with the theological faculty, which was held respecting the first chapter of John with such success, that all present were confirmed in their belief of the essential Deity of Christ. Bock also informs us, that Crellius once declared, with many tears, that it was the greatest grief to him, that he could not relinquish the opinion he had formed respecting the person of Christ. Among other singular opinions was the one held by him concerning the bodies of those, who are said to have risen from the dead with Christ. He thought that it was not a complete resurrection, but that the bodies only of some saints came out of the grave, and went to Jerusalem, and that, being again deposited in the tomb, their souls were translated to heaven.
Crellius had two sons, Stephen and Joseph, who were both married, but had no male issue. They settled in Georgia, one of the British colonies of North America. Stephen was a Justice of the Peace in that country; and Joseph gained a livelihood by farming. It is not improbable that they emigrated to America, by the advice, or with the sanction, of the Earl of Shaftesbury, who was one of the original proprietors of the state of Georgia. Crellius had also two daughters, one of whom, named Theophila, became the wife of I. A. Leddius, M. D., and survived her husband; and the other, named Dorothy, remained single. Both the daughters were present with their father at Amsterdam, at the time of his death.
The last-mentioned fact was communicated to Bock by Paul Crellius, who survived his brother Samuel many years, and died at Andreaswalde, Nov. 18th, 1760, in the eighty-third year of his age. Both the brothers supplied articles to the literary journals of the day; and were contributors to Bayle's Critical Dictionary. From a letter written by Bayle, and addressed to Samuel Crellius, we learn that Paul was studying at the University of Cambridge in the year 1706, to which he had been sent by the liberality of the Earl of Shaftesbury. He had spent the previous year at Leyden, at his Lordship's expense, to whom he had been introduced by Mr. Arent Furly, son of Mr. Benjamin Furly, an English merchant resident at Rotterdam, and the friend and correspondent of Locke, Algernon Sidney and Lord Shaftesbury. He accompanied his Lordship to Italy ; was present at his death; and is said to have received a pension from the family during the rest of his life. Bock acknowledges his obligations to Paul Crellius for much valuable information respecting the Polish Unitarians. But Samuel was most distinguished as an author. He was one of the most learned men of his time ; and enjoyed a great reputation in the literary world. His favourite study was Ecclesiastical History, in which his knowledge was both extensive and profound. Bock enumerates twenty-seven of his productions, with some account of which we shall close the present Article.
1. Observations on Phil. J. Spener's Sermon concerning the Eternal Generation of Jesus Christ. Germ. Spener's Sermon was published at Berlin, in 1694, 12mo.; and he replied to the " Observations" of Crellius in a "Defence" of his " Sermon," published at Frankfort on the Maine in 1706, 4to.
2. The True and Ancient Faith concerning the Divinity of Christ asserted, against Dr. George Bull's "Judgment of the Church," &c, by Anon. A.D. 1695, 8vo. This is the last of three treatises in Latin, of which the following is the general title. "Tractatus Tres; quorum qui Prior Ante-Nicenismu s dicitur; is exhibet Testimonia Patrum Ante-Nicenorum: in quibus elucet Sensus Ecclesiae Primaevo-Catholicae, quoad Articulum de Trinitate. In Secundo, Brevis Responsio ordinatur ad D. G. Bulli ' Defensionem Synodi Nicenae.' Authore Gilberto Clerke Anglo. Argumentum Postremi: Vera et Antiqua Fides de Divinitate Christi, explicata et asserta, contra D. Bulli 'Judicium Ecclesiae Catholicae,' &c, per Anonymum. A. D. 1695." These three rare treatises were printed in England. The first and second have been generally regarded as the productions of Gilbert Clerke, and were in all probability written by him. (Vide Art. 351, No. 5 and 6.) The last is commonly attributed to Samuel Crellius. It professes to contain an assertion of the true and ancient faith concerning the Divinity of Christ, in opposition to Dr. Bull's "Judicium Ecclesiae Catholicae." It is short, but ably written. The editor, who took great pains to learn by whom it was composed, declares that his efforts to ascertain this point proved unsuccessful (p. 140); but that its author was no ordinary proficient in Ecclesiastical literature, the treatise itself sufficiently testifies. It is not unworthy of the pen of Samuel Crellius. Bock admits, that the difference of style in these treatises affords ground for suspecting, that they were not all written by the same person; and yet positively asserts that they all proceeded from the pen of Samuel Crellius. But in proof of this assertion we have nothing but his own bare word. Walchius observes, that "the second of these treatises is attributed in the title to Gilbert Clerke, whom some think also to have been the author of the first; but others persuade themselves that Samuel Crellius wrote all three." (Bibl. Theol. T. I. pp. 970, 971.) Vogt, on the other hand, seems to think, that Gilbert Clerke was the author of all three treatises. After giving the title of the first, he mentions the number of pages in the whole volume, and says, "this very scarce book consists of three treatises." (Catal. Libr. Rar. pp. 35, 36.) His copy seems to have wanted the general titlepage. Bock states, that not a few authors have attributed the first and second treatises to Gilbert Clerke. Among these he mentions Pfaff, Vogt and Stoll. He might have added Bull, Nelson, and the author of "the Grounds and Occasions of the Controversy concerning the Unity of God" (p. 17). They were certainly both written by one and the same person, whoever that person may have been (Brevis Responsio, &c. p. 69); and the third and last treatise in the volume was as certainly written by a different person. In addition to the difference of style, there is a peculiarity of orthography in the third treatise, which renders the supposition that it came from the same pen as the two preceding ones, in the very last degree improbable. The author of the "Ante-Nicenismus," and of the "Brevis Responsio," always writes quis, qui, qua/is, guantus, &c, in the usual way; and the editor does the same. But the author of the third treatise invariably omits the u after the q, and writes antiqa, antiqitatis, haudqaqam, atqi. For these reasons it seems probable, that the editor has done rightly, in claiming the first and second treatises as the productions of Gilbert Clerke; while the author of the third, whose name was unknown to him, was in all probability Samuel Crellius.
3. The Faith of the Primitive Christians proved from Barnabas, Hermas and Clemens Romanus, in Opposition to Dr. George Bull's "Defence of the Nicene Faith;" by Lucas Mellierus, V. D. M. London, 1697, 8vo. The "Defence of the Nicene Faith" was published at Oxford in 1685, 4to. It was reprinted at Amsterdam in 1686, 4to.; and another edition of it was published at Oxford in 1688, 4to. Grabe replied to Crellius's attack, in his notes upon the Works of Bishop Bull; but Crellius deemed Grabe's defence of the Bishop unworthy of a reply.
4. A Compendium of New Thoughts on the first and second Adam; or the Nature of the Salvation lost through the former, and recovered through the latter. Amst. 1700, 8vo. This treatise consists of Five Parts. In the first, the author discusses the fall of Adam, and the promise of a Redeemer: the second treats of our liberation from the power of the devil by Christ: the third, of the nature of the passions, and of obedience: the fourth, of the new creation: and the fifth, of the priesthood of Christ. The Appendix contains some remarks on the efficacy of the sufferings and death of Christ, which had previously appeared in German, A.D. 1698. In addition to those authors who have incidentally noticed this work of Crellius's, John Schmidt, a Leipzic Divine, published "Strictures" upon it in Latin, A.D. 1702, 4to., of which a German translation appeared in 1766, 8vo.
5. A Short Dissertation, proving, that the Lord's Supper is no Sign, or Part of private Union and Fellowship, and therefore that the Declaration is altogether superfluous, by which some Persons profess, that, in eating the sacred Bread, they have no Wish to testify their Agreement with Persons holding different Opinions, and explaining and setting forth certain Laws of Christ in a different Manner. Amst., S. Pezold. Crellius claims this Dissertation as his own in a letter to La Croze. In reply to it, Godfrey Olearius published "A Theological Dissertation on Communion with Heretics, and especially with Socinians, by the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, opposed to a Dissertation of an anonymous Writer. Leipz. 1710," 4to.
6. The Beginning of the Gospel of John restored from Ecclesiastical Antiquity, and illustrated from the same Source, by a new Method. In this Work it is proved particularly that John did not write, "and the Word was God," but, "and the Word was God's" The whole of the first eighteen Verses of that Gospel, and many other Texts of Scripture are also illustrated; and not a few Passages of ancient Ecclesiastical Writers and Heretics are sifted and amended: by L. M. Artemonius. In Two Parts. 1726, 8vo. The author states, in a letter to Joachim Lange, that this work was printed in London ; which, indeed, is evident from the typography. It was published at the expense of some friends, and particularly of Matthew Tindal. The letters "L. M." are the initials of the assumed name, Lucas Mellierus,which is formed by transposition out of the author's real name, Samuel Crellius. The epithet " Artemonius" is intended to designate the author as a follower of Artemon, rather than Socinus. The first Part of the work contains 48 Chapters; and the second, 47. Four Dissertations are subjoined to Part II. The first of these contains the author's explanation of Micah v. 2. In the second he proves, that the ancient Christians, and some Heretics in the first, second, fourth and sixth centuries, believed that Christ, in the beginning of the Gospel, after his birth, and before his death, ascended to heaven, and descended thence to earth again. The third contains the author's explanation of Heb. i. 10—12. In the fourth, he undertakes to prove, that the words, "before Abraham was I am," John viii. 58, cannot be explained in the Socinian sense. The work, which, at the same time that it abounds in bold speculations, shews the author's extensive learning, was attacked by the Rev. John Jackson, B.A., Rector of Rossington, and Master of Wigston's Hospital, Leicester. Other attacks were made upon it by John Phil. Baratier, John Francis Buddeus, John Christopher Wolfius, and John Laurence Mosheim. The author replied to the work of Jackson (vide No. 7); and in a letter to La Croze, written at Amsterdam, Feb. 17th, 1730, he says, "I will reply to Buddeus and Mosheim this year, if I live and God permit; and will shew, that they are not more successful than Jackson in refuting Artemonius, provided I can find a printer."
7. L. M. Artemonius's Defence of the Emendations made in Novatian against the celebrated John Jackson; with some Additions to be made to the work of Artemonius. 8vo. The place of publication is not given in the title-page; but this work is known to have been printed in London, A.D. 1729. Jackson, in his edition of the works of Novatian, London, 1728, 8vo., had undertaken to refute Crellius's treatise on the Proem of John's Gospel ; and Crellius here attempts to shew, that Novatian quoted the last clause of John i. 1, "et Dei erat Verbum," and that the passage was subsequently corrupted.
8. Explanation of the disputed Passage, 1 John v. 7. This appeared in the "Bibliotheca Anglicana" (Tom. VII. P. i. p. 271); and replies to it were published by Mosheim, and John Francis Bern. De Rubeis.
9. Some Objections relating to the Passage, 1 John v. 7, and the Antiquity of the Nicene Faith respecting the Trinity. These Objections were inserted in the " Thesaurus La-Crozianus" (T. I. p. 89); and OEder attempted to give a solution of most of them in a letter to Christopher Briickmann, Pastor of Nuremberg, which was subjoined to the "Agenda" of Peter Morscovius, published by OZder, pp. 333, et seq.
10. Christliches Glaubensbekanntniss von einigen Unitariis ans Licht gegeben, 1716. The place where this Confession of Faith was published is not mentioned; but that Crellius was the author of it is placed beyond all doubt by himself: for he not only undertook a " Defence" of it, but claimed it as his own production in a letter to Joachim Lange, dated July 23rd, 1740. Reinbeck attacked it in the "Berlin Heave-Offerings" (Vol. I. p. 851); and Crellius replied to this attack in a separate work, entitled,
11. Berthadigung des Unitarischen in denen Berlinischen Hebopfern angefochtenen Glaubcnsbekanntnisses; oder eine Zugabe zu dem X. Beytrag derselbigen Hebopfern. Im Jahr 1720, 8vo. This "Defence" contains four short treatises. The first Part of it had previously been published in a separate form, A.D. 1718; for Crellius appeals to his Apology for the Unitarian Confession, in a letter to La Croze, written at Kcenigswald in the year 1718, and inserted in the "Thesaurus Epistolicus La-Crozianus" (T. l.y. 91).
12. Unpartheyische Erwag-und Betrachtung des beyderseitigen Hauptgrundes derer Trinitarier und Unitarier, u. s. f. 1719, 8vo. This tract is usually attributed to John Christ. Seitzius; but Bock was told, that it came from the pen of Crellius. An anonymous reply to it was published in the "Berlin Heave-Offerings" (Vol. III. p. 153).
13. Der seine eigene Erfindungen als gottliche Ausspriiche canonisirende Trinitarius, u. s. f. 1722, 8vo. A review of this little work appeared in the "Berlin HeaveOfferings" (Vol. IV. pp. 208. 222. 234).
14. Kurtzer Unterricht in der Christlichen Religion: u. s. f. (1717) 8vo. A common report among the Unitarians affirms, that Samuel Crellius was the author of this little work, and that he was exercising his ministry at Kcenigswald, at the time of its composition. But he himself states, in John Christopher Strodtmann's "Nov. Erud. Europa," (T. I. p. 218,) that this Catechism, drawn up in the Polish language by some Unitarians of the March, and printed at Amsterdam, was translated by him into German, with slight alterations. Peter Jaenichi, Rector of the Gymnasium of Thorn, published some Strictures upon Crellius's German translation of this Catechism in 1722, 4to.
15. Untersuchung auf was Weise der Herr Jesus das Brodt gebrochen und seinen Jiingern gegeben. 1694, 4to. The place of publication is not mentioned. This Inquiry is attributed to Crellius in Walchius's "Bibliotheca Theologica Selecta," and is claimed by Crellius himself, as his own production, in the Manuscript, of which an account will be given below, under No. 24. In the 15th Dissertation (§ xx.) of that Manuscript, he appeals to it, and, among other things, professes to have shewn, that Christ so instituted the rite of the Lord's Supper, that, as we take the cup ourselves, so we should help ourselves to the Dread hroken, and publicly exposed, and not require that it should be handed to us by another: because our Lord seems to have broken the bread first, and to have placed a quantity of it, thus broken, before the disciples, and then to have said, "Take, eat, this is my body."
16. Kurtze und einfaltige Untersuchung, ob, und warum, die Reformirte Evangelische Kirche die also genannte Socinianer mit gutem Gewissen dulden, oder auch in ihre Gemeinschaft aufnehmen konne und solle. 1700, 4to. No place, or author's name is given; but Bock was informed, that this work was from the pen of Crellius. Its object is to prove, that the Reformed may, with a safe conscience, and ought, not only to bear with the Socinians, and receive them into their communion, but also not to condemn them, and accuse them of heresy, unless they are prepared to act contrary to their own principles. This he endeavours to shew by five separate arguments, in the course of which he has brought together all that can be said upon the subject; and shewn, that the Reformed ought to tolerate the Socinians, if they do not hold communion with them.
17. Samuel Crellius's Geistlichen Opfers schuldige Zugabe. Amst. 1684, 8vo. This is mentioned in Daniel Salthenius's "Catalogue of Rare Books," p. 530, No. 2666.
18. A Letter to the Venerable Joachim Lange. Amst. July 23rd, 1740. In this Letter Crellius complains, that the Unitarians in Holland were not allowed to print any theological work of a controversial nature; and that, with the exception of London, the presses were everywhere closed against them. He adds, that the works of the Unitarian party in Holland, which still saw the light, were clandestinely printed; and that the risk of detection was so great, that it was necessary to take and hide the sheets, as they came wet from the press.
19. Twelve Letters to La Croze, inserted in the "Thesaurus Epistolicus La-Crozianus."
20. A Letter to the Minister of a Church in Berlin, written Oct. 11th, 1731, in which Crellius, among other things, intimates his conviction, that Joachim Lange is about to undertake a refutation of Artemonius.
21. A Letter to Wetstein, to which John Christopher Wolfius refers in another, addressed to La Croze, and inserted in the "Thes. Epist. La-Croz." (T. II. p. 257).
22. Some Annotations concerning Michael Servetus, to illustrate De la Roche's Account of him, lately published in his "Bibliotheca Anglicana," T. II. P. i. These Annotations were inserted in the "Bibliotheca Bremensis" (CI. i. Fasc. v. N. iv. p. 739); and we learn from the "Thes. La-Croz.," (T. III. p. 210,) that Crellius vas the author of them.
23. Contributions to a new Edition of Bayle's Dictionary. Bock was informed by Paul Crellius, in conversation and by letter, that both his brother Samuel and himself assisted in supplying materials for that learned and curious work.
24. Antiquities and Monuments of the first Ages of Christianity, and Illustrations of those in particular which relate to the Ebionites and Nazarenes, and their Evangelical Histories. MS. The autograph of this work was once in the library of Theod. Lielenthal. It extended over about seven hundred closely-written pages, and contained fifteen Dissertations on the following subjects. Diss. i. How long did the Apostle John live, and when did he write? Diss. ii. On Cerinthus and the Nicolaitans, adversaries of John. Diss. iii. On the Alogi, who ascribed the Gospel and Revelation of John to Cerinthus. Diss, iv. Whether or not the Proem of John's Gospel was prefixed by another person, or at least whether it has not been falsified? Diss. v. Whether the last chapter in the Gospel of John, or at least the last two verses, were added by others? Diss. vi. The words concerning the three heavenly witnesses, 1 John v. 7, are proved not to be John's. Diss. vii. Who were the Ebionites, against whom John is said to have written? Diss. viii. Concerning the Nazarenes, another kind of Ebionites, as some have thought. Diss. ix. A reply to objections, which may be urged against the Assertions contained in the preceding Dissertation, respecting the Nazarenes. Diss. x. John is proved not to have written against the Ebionites. Diss. xi. On the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or of the Twelve Apostles, which the Nazarenes used. Diss. xii. On the Gospel of the Ebionites, which was called the Gospel according to Matthew. Diss. xiii. On the Gospel according to the Egyptians. Diss. xiv. On the sayings of Christ, which formerly existed in certain Gospels or Books of orthodox Writers, now unknown or doubtful. Diss. xv. This was added, by way of Appendix, and was only an enlarged copy of the "Short Dissertation," of which an account is given under No. 5.—The preceding Dissertations were followed by another work, under the title of "Part ii. of Ecclesiastical Antiquity illustrated," which was divided into five Chapters. The subjects of these Chapters were as follow. Chap. i. On the Epistle of Agbarus, (not Abgarus,) King of Edessa, to Jesus Christ, and this to Agbarus. Chap. ii. On the preaching of Thaddaeus. Chap. iii. On Hernias. Chap. iv. On Polycrates. Chap. v. On the writing, bearing the title of " The second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians."
25. Ancient and Modern Unitarianism. Germ. MS. This work, entitled, "Alte und Neue Unitariana," u. s. f., filled at least two volumes of considerable size. It was left to Paul Crellius by his brother Samuel, but never reached him. Bock entertained hopes of being able to recover it, when he published his " Historia Antitrinitariorum."
26. On the Words alwv, ai&va, aiwv rSiv aliivuv, and D^W, which have been hitherto badly explained by the Interpreters of Scripture, but of which an anonymous Author maintains the true and genuine, in Opposition to the false Sense. In this work Crellius advocates the doctrine of Universal Restoration.
27. A Letter to the Messrs. Widavii, Unitarians, and Officers in the Prussian
(Vidend. Bock, Hist . Ant. T. I. pp. 161—203. Monthly Repository, Vol. V. (1810) pp. 49—53. 169, 170; Vol. XI. (1816) pp. 639, 640. Jortin'sTracts, 8vo., 1790, Vol . I. p. 366. Birch'* Life of Tillotson, App. iii. pp. 426, 427. Christian Reformer, N. S., Vol . I. (1834) pp. 821, 822; Vol. II. (1835) pp. 27—31. Thesaurus Epistolicus La-Crozianus, passim. Moshemii Inst. Hist. Eccles. Ssec. xviL Sect. ii. Pars ii. § T. Not . e. p. 895; Ssec xviii. § xxvii. p. 911. Krasinski's Hist. Sketch of the Ret in Poland, Vol . II. Chap. xiv. pp. 383, 384. Original Letters of Locke, Algernon Sidney, and Lord Shaftesbury, edited by T. Foster, M. B., F. L. S., M. A. S. &c. Lond. 1830,8vo. pp. 214,215. 223. 272—274.Walchii Bibl. Theol. Sel . T. I. pp. 297,298. 545. 914. 970, 971. Vogt, Catal . Historico-Crit . Libr. Rax. && Hamb. 1747, p. 221.)DidierLe Roux
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