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ducts the worship of a small society of Unitarian Christians in Sunderland ;
find the rather , as it was furnished to tbc work by Mr . Mead ley . u In an age of free inquiry , when ike legislature has judiciously repealed those intolerant laws , by which Unitarians were exposed to pains and penalties for exercising- the inalienable right of private judgment in the interpretation of the Scriptures , it might naturally
be expected that some progress would be made among- the inhabitants of this neighbourhood , to ascertain the proper object of religious worship , and the unequivocal doctrines of divine revelation . . Accordingly several persons who , in the course of
their inquiries , had successively imbibed those views of Christianity which , though sanctioned by the authority of Lardner , Jebh and Priestley , have frequently been confounded with an express denial of the
authority of Scripture , began to meet in their own houses for religious worship and discussion . Their numbers increasing , they , in the autumn of 1814 , took and registered for public service , at the
Michaelmas Quarter Sessions , a large room in Maling ^ s Rigg , formerly occupied as a Freemasons * Lodge . " They believe in the sole Deity and Supremacy of God the Father , whom alone they regard as the proper object of religious worship , to the exclusion of every other person , being , mode or distinction whatsoever . Confessing Jesus Christ
tobe the Saviour of the world , they eonsider him to be the messenger , soil and servant of God , acting by Divine appointment , but essentially inferior to the Father , and as such , not entitled to religious worship . Agreeing in these fundamental principles ^ r-t * - * . # •* . * % 4 « % ¦* ** t m J . j-k . 4-1 # > ti m \ I l » viff 4-V » A w » *¦* II r \ vmr » - » r-w pecting God and Christthey allow
res , no minor difference of opinion , in matters not essential to Christian love and morality , to disturb their union . They believe also in the duty and efficacy of repentance to obtain the forgiveness of sins from the free and unpurchased grace of God ; and inculcate a constant obedience to the precepts
of the gospel , as indispensable to insure a good conscience , and a well-grounded hope in the Divine mercy . And in common with their fellow-christians of every denomination , they believe in the resurrection of the dead and in a future judgment , when all men will be rewarded or punished according to their deeds . The frovernaccoramg to meir cieeas . i tic
g-overnment of this small society is independent ; and not having at present a regular minister , the members conduct the worship among themselves . They profess open communion , and cultivate charity with all men . ' Pp . 256—8 .
X and by whose permission I transmit it to you , V . F . After the usual services of the evening t December 6 , 1818 ,
** My friends , permit me to address you on a mournful subject , in which I have no doubt but you will , equally with myself , feel interested . The death of our friend George Wilson Meadley has filled us with sorrow : let us hope , however , that our loss ia such a friend is his gain .
** It would be wanting in us , who had opportunities of knowing his sentiments of Christianity , and were eyewitnesses of his conduct , were we to be siient , when so many of his highly respectable friends have so handsomely expressed their respect for his
memory , and borne testimony to his public and private 'worth : more especially as there are not wanting those , who , although they give him credit for his general knowledge and literary attainments , more than call in question his religious opinions . 4 € To such I jud
say , * ge nothing before the time $ and for my own part , having had an intimate acquaintance with him for upwards of five years , during which time I freely acknowledge that , although the principal religious opinions which I now hold were formed previous to our
acquaintance , yet to him I am deeply indebted for my more extended religious knowledge ; and shall ( while I thank my heayenly Father for the helps I have received from him ) cherish to the latest period of my mortal existence , that regard for his memory which , as a truly amiable man and sincere Christian , 1 think it deserves .
" Although , under such circumstances , it may naturally be supposed I am partial to my religious friend , yet upon the present occasion 1 shall endeavour to divest myself of it ; and
give you a faithful account of his leading views on the doctrines of Christianity , in connexion with his conduct and general Christian character .
" I have no certain data as to his entire secession from the Established Church ; 1 suppose it might take place about leu or twelve years ago - prin *
6 Tribute to the Memory of the fate Mr . G . W . Meadley .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1819, page 6, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1768/page/6/