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Aittiei / E iv , v . The Example of Jesus the Example ofa Marti n Discoursi delivered at Gloucester > Juty 3 , 1805 , before the Society of
Unitarian Christians , established in the West of England for promoting Christian Knowledge and the Practice of Virtue \ by the Distribution df Books . By James Hews Bransby . Vidler , is .
The Unitarians are commonly reproached with the want , of religious zeal , and to a certain degree the censure is unquestionably just . Their exertions have borne a xnore exact proportion to their numbers , which are small * than to their abilities ^ both pecuniary and intellectual , which are confessedly large .
The zeal of a sect may be of two kinds , via . the zeal of prdinoting the supposed perfection , and " the zeal of increasing the ii ^ mber of its members . This latter species oCzeal may ope rate in a variety of w ^ ys , more or less suitable to ' religious parties according to their peculiar nature and views . A zealous attention to the improvement of their internal economy is not commonly supposed to be the characteristic of Unitarians , among whom it is said , for we speak less from personal knowledge than report ^ that little of church discipline re *
mains , and that the sum of Christian fellowship consists in meeting once a week' under the same roof , and eating bread and drinking wine once a month in the same place , at the same , time . We hope tJnitarian churches are not so far identified
with the world as to consider him an Unitarian ^ who merely does not worship with the Calvinists , and him a member of their body the amount of whose zeal and devotion is the punctual payment of his subscription !
The spirit of proselytism has been attributed to the Unita-s rians as a heinous offence by the very persons who have taxed them with an unchristian lukewarniness . This inconsistency of their accusers may be accounted for by the twofold consideration , that they have confined themselves to one method of
convert-making , and thaf method of all others least noisy and obtrusive ; bur that a ^ th e same time they have employed it with a vigilance , dexterity , and success ^ of which other sects afford txo example . The method referred to is that of books , controversial and doctrinal books , in which Unitarian ism , from the
time of its first revival in this country , has always abounded . This mode of persuasion and conversion is particularly congenial with the system in whose behalf it is used , which is founded # ot upon the moral and intuitive sense , not upon a frame oi feelings , not upon preternatural communications and divme
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Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1806, page 40, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1720/page/40/