Richard Brocklesby - Gospel-Theism

Steven Avery

Richard Brocklesby (1636–1714) was an English non-abjuring clergyman,_1885-1900/Brocklesby,_Richard_(1636-1714)

Brocklesby retired to Stamford, and employed his leisure in composing an opus magnum, entitled An Explication of the Gospel Theism and the Divinity of the Christian Religion. Containing the True Account of the System of the Universe, and of the Christian Trinity. … By Richard Brocklesby, a Christian Trinitarian (1706) It is crammed with reading from sages, the Church Fathers, the schoolmen, travellers, and poets; it uses terminology of the writer's own. Brocklesby denies the eternal generation of Jesus Christ, and even his pre-existence; but asserts his consubstantiality as God-man begotten of God, 'an humane-divine person' (see especially bk. vi., 'The Idea of the Lord the Son'). He places the abode of Christ in heaven, from his coming of age to his public mission (p. 1019 sq.), though he calls the kindred notion of Socinus 'wild and pedantic.' The only Socinian writers whom he directly quotes are György Enyedi, Krell, and the English Unitarian Tracts. He does not know Michael Servetus (p. 158) at first hand; Acontius (pp. 819, 821) he values; and Spinoza (p. 785) he cites with modified approval.

John Maxwell, prebendary of Connor, issued in 1727 an English version (A Treatise of the Laws of Nature) of Bishop Richard Cumberland's De Legibus Naturæ (1672). Out of Brocklesby's book, as he says on his title-page, Maxwell carved two introductory essays and a supplementary dissertation. He simplifies Brocklesby's style, omits his theology, and adds some new material from other sources.


An Explication of the Gospel-Theism and the Divinity of the Christian Religion. Containing the true account of the system of the universe, and of the Christian Trinity, etc (1706)


BCEME - p. 187
Whiston’s study of the apostolic fathers, prompted by his reading of Richard Brocklesby’s Gospel-Theism (1706), led to a growing conviction that Athanasius’ Trinitarian theology had corrupted primitive Christianity.255

255 Whiston 1711–1712, 1:iv–v, ix; Whiston 1727–1728, 2:1070–1071; Snobelen 1999, 402–403; Snobelen 2004.