3 Ricardo’s encounter with the Unitarians

DOI: 10.4324/9781003162100-3

Scripture and reason

Ricardo ‘became a Christian, attaching himself to the Unitarian Chapel, in Essex-street, where he and his family have regularly attended the instructions of Mr. Belsham’ (Sunday Times 1823). Unitarianism was a Dissenting current that coagulated into a self-standing body when, in 1774, former Anglican minister Theophilus Lindsey founded a Unitarian chapel in Essex Street, London. Joseph Priestley, coming from the Independents, founded another in Bristol, followed by others coming from the Presbyterians. Their unifying traits – rejection of the Trinitarian dogma, Jesus’s divine nature, original sin, eternal punishment, and vicarious atonement – were ...

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