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To the Editor of the Monthly Repository .
London , sir , January 2 , 1 S 09 . At the two last meetings of our Unitarian Missionary Fund , I took the opportunity of our social tea-tables to converse with several
of our friends , and among them , some of our missionaries , on the subject of Christian discipline . My thoughts have frequently since dwelt upon this topic , and considering what I have witnessed "
in different parts of Europe and at home , and comparing together the practice of various descriptions of Christians , I have been led to think that there is great room for improvement , and that much advantage might be derived from such
i - ¦ i * i a candid discussion , as becomes Christians , and for which your Miscellany is admirably calculated . The times seem to me to be well ' suited for the purpose , as
there is every reason to believe , that through the zeal of our Missionaries , and the good cause in which we are all engaged , many vill be brought to the knowledge and worship of the only true God —the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ . It is not my wish nor my intention to enter into the discussion of the many errors that have been entertained on this subject by various Christian communities . Some
are sufficiently prominent , and the number of years in which they have prevailed , has $ o biassed the minds of many , that it is in vain to reason with them on points on which their passions will fce so
easily excited . A calm , temperate discussion is what I wish , and such as would arise from persons zealous for the honour of the
true God , and desirous to promote the kingdom of their Saviour . I will suppose a few persons of this description to have been roused by the addresses of one of our
Missionaries , to have discarded the erroneous doctrines in which they have been educated , to have been in consequence , under the necessity of separating from the religious
worship of their former sect , and to be desirous of forming themselves into a society , where they may worship the God of our Sa ~ viour , and derive the advantages of a true Christian union . I must
premise also , that amongst these persons the scripture is the only guide of their conduct , that they reject every appeal to human authority , and that they will with
candour hear every argument , and adopt with pleasure whatever seems to them , to the best of / their knowledge , to be founded upon scriptural authority .
In a meeting , such as I have supposed , a natural question would suggest itself , namely , whether they were competent to form any regulations for the conduct of their society , or should look out
to any other community for directions or for officers to preside over them . Upon this point they would consult the Scriptures , and they would find our Saviour ' s words , * where two or three are gathered together in my name , I
ON THE DISCIPLINE OF A CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY . XETTElt I .
VOL . IV . D
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1809, page 17, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1732/page/17/